Home Gloucester Is the stopping of the Flu Vaccination wrong?

Is the stopping of the Flu Vaccination wrong?

by Barry

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There is criticism being levelled at the government at the moment for not vaccinating the under 5’s for Flu, and potentially putting them at risk.  The argument is that this “cancellation” was done to save cash (approx £85m) and that included not only the jabs but the advertising campaign to go with the vaccination.

I have an issue with criticising the Government for not doing the widespread vaccination.  They have taken the advice of the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which is an independent body and would hopefully be giving politically independent advice.  Granted it plays well into the cost saving required, but everyone has to make the most of the breaks they are given.  The JVCI had initially said it would be prudent to repeat the Jabs to all kids, but then in July it changed this advice.  What is unclear is the basis for the change of advice.  But they are the independent expert here.  As long as they haven’t been leaned on.

I’m not so sure about axing the advertising campaign though.  The Governments answer is that everyone eligible will be or has been contacted.  However I think this does need to be backed up with a campaign to ensure that those who are eligible realise the importance of the vaccination.  There are many reasons why parents would not take their children, IE fears due the MMR debacle, or just not really being aware of the true dangers of flu, as it is seen as such a common illness.  If you just get an envelope saying your eligible, it doesn’t really do much int he way of educating or encouraging.

So, on one hand, I think the targeting of immunisation in this respect is a sensible approach to take given the advice they received.  However the Department of Health have said they are going to review this policy due to the rising cases of Flu this winter.  With this sort of announcment, it really muddies the waters of whom to believe.  

In any case, I do wish they had kept the advertising campaign to enable parents to make an informed decision, rather than what may be a rash decision one way or the other.

In relation to all thing vaccination, I would reccoment you go and see the Edward Jenner Museum in Berkley, Gloucestershire.  The House and grounds are really good and shows how vaccines were developed and the full extent of the impact of Vaccination on the world.


Richard Bard December 29, 2010 - 3:13 pm

“What is unclear is the basis for the change of advice” The jab for under fives was only for swine flu (not seasonal flu) & most children will by now have been exposed to the virus & will have immunity. (Someone said on the telly last night).

bazkirby December 29, 2010 - 3:17 pm

Thanks Richard – Makes sense, especially when they thought that most cases would have been Swine Flu and not normal flu.

Though in still not sure what changed between April when they said vaccinate everyone, and July when they said don’t bother.

I think this has been a hard winter though with many different illnesses etc which hasn’t helped.

Eddie December 30, 2010 - 9:28 am

The under fives have never been targeted in this way, under this government or the last Barry

bazkirby December 30, 2010 - 11:11 am

Eddie – Yes they have, most recently at the start of this year. Having 2 of my 3 kids under 5, I have the paperwork. Also all registered asthmatics are targetted every year.

But the point here is that the plan was to vaccinate all at risk groups (under 5’s, pregnant Ladies and elderly), but then they changed the plan from expert independant advice, and rightly so.

Flu worries hit Gloucestershire hard – Lack of vaccinations « The murmurings of Barry Kirby January 7, 2011 - 9:54 am

[…] blogged a while ago about the changes to the way that the Flu vaccine was being given out and thankfully since then, its obvious that someone has read it and taken note as the advertising […]


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