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Flu Vaccine for 4 year old?

By birder - 22 May 2012 30

Does anyone know where I can get a flu vaccination for a 4 year old? I am used to this being offered by the GP, but since Australia does not include the flu jab on the vaccination schedule for children, it is difficult to find someone who will actually do it. My GP won’t. I called ACT Health to ask, and their response was, “We don’t know, maybe try to call around to other GPs.”

This seems a little odd! In both the United States and NZ, flu vaccinations are on the immunisation schedule for children, and you can get them easily (and in NZ, for free).

Any ideas on where we could get this for our 4 year old? Thanks in advance!

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30 Responses to
Flu Vaccine for 4 year old?
HenryBG 9:24 am 23 May 12

dvaey said :

We’re not talking a vaccine for polio or smallpox or some other terrible debilitating life-changing disease.. we’re talking about an injection which contains antibodies for 2 or 3 strains of a bug of which thousands of strains exist.

+1

Caractacus Potts said :

Usually, my response to comments like numbers 1, 6 and 11 is a shrug, and the the sort of smug self satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that in the long run evolution sorts these sort of numpties out.

Smugness born of gullibility and an inability to do proper analysis.

Spending several hundred million dollars per year and making tens of thousands sick in order to perhaps save half a dozen lives which are close to their term anyway is piss-poor use of medical intervention.

As the above poster pointed out: this isn’t smallpox, and this vaccine is highly ineffective.

dvaey 11:14 pm 22 May 12

sweetlibby said :

There is no where that you can get FREE flu vaccine that I know of in the ACT unless you have a specific medical condition.

Theres this medical condition called ‘influenza’ which gives your body the antibodies for free. Not just that, but the antibodies that your body produces have more chance of working than a shot-in-the-dark injection.

We’re not talking a vaccine for polio or smallpox or some other terrible debilitating life-changing disease.. we’re talking about an injection which contains antibodies for 2 or 3 strains of a bug of which thousands of strains exist.

Caractacus Potts 10:50 pm 22 May 12

Usually, my response to comments like numbers 1, 6 and 11 is a shrug, and the the sort of smug self satisfaction that comes with the knowledge that in the long run evolution sorts these sort of numpties out.

However, in the case of vaccination the existence of these sorts of opinions is harmful for the community – particularly infants and the elderly. Kindly put your tinfoil hats on and bugger off – there’s a good fellow.

HenryBG 10:39 pm 22 May 12

snoopydoc said :

@ HenryBG, who said

HenryBG said :

There are virtually no health benefits to getting a flu vaccination. Classic case of medical over-servicing.

Would you like to tell that to the 14 people who died of influenza in Australia in 2011?

The risk of death (~1.5-2.0 per 100,000 population per year) is admittedly low, but the risk of significant morbidity is quite a bit higher, and the costs of even small epidemics can be quite high. All of these adverse outcomes can be reduced by a higher rate of vaccination.

In the first 9 months of 2011, there were 25,092 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Australia, with 235 of those in the ACT. Some 13% of those requiring admission to hospital ended up in ICU.

The potential for opportunistic preventive / primary health care intervention by the GP who sees kids for vaccination should also not be underestimated.

How many people would you need to vaccinate in order to save 50% of that 14 people?
10 million? 15 million? more?

And what do you vaccinate them with? Apparently the flu vaccine confers a fairly unimpressive probability of immunity against 1 strain (out of many), meaning it often doesn’t work and even when it does, it has to be repeated annually or it is ineffective.

So, 10 million vaccines, administered every single year, to, maybe perhaps cross our fingers, save a handful of lives.

Oh, and the risks? In 2010, FLuvax caused febrile convulsions in 1% of recipient children under 5, leaving some dead and others permanently brain damaged. Good one doc.

The “normal” rate of adverse reaction is apparently 0.1%, so 10,000 people have to suffer to provide a pretty poor coverage against something that the vast majority of people have no trouble shaking off in 1 or two days anyway.

If your risk assessment leads you to think getting these shots is a good idea….well, I reckon you’re using more of a faith-based method that I do.

screaming banshee 10:05 pm 22 May 12

snoopydoc said :

@ HenryBG, who said

HenryBG said :

There are virtually no health benefits to getting a flu vaccination. Classic case of medical over-servicing.

In the first 9 months of 2011, there were 25,092 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Australia, with 235 of those in the ACT. Some 13% of those requiring admission to hospital ended up in ICU.

Care to supply the missing figure of how many of those 235 laboratory confirmed cases in the act required admission from which to determine the 13% that ended up in icu.

While you’re at it perhaps you can tell us how many of the 14 dead were apparently otherwise healthy 4 year olds

snoopydoc 8:09 pm 22 May 12

@ HenryBG, who said

HenryBG said :

There are virtually no health benefits to getting a flu vaccination. Classic case of medical over-servicing.

Would you like to tell that to the 14 people who died of influenza in Australia in 2011?

The risk of death (~1.5-2.0 per 100,000 population per year) is admittedly low, but the risk of significant morbidity is quite a bit higher, and the costs of even small epidemics can be quite high. All of these adverse outcomes can be reduced by a higher rate of vaccination.

In the first 9 months of 2011, there were 25,092 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Australia, with 235 of those in the ACT. Some 13% of those requiring admission to hospital ended up in ICU.

The potential for opportunistic preventive / primary health care intervention by the GP who sees kids for vaccination should also not be underestimated.

sweetlibby 7:58 pm 22 May 12

The doctors surgery above Big W at gungahlin has a nurse who will do them. The only place I know of in Gungahlin where you don’t have to pay for a drs visit as well. $35 adults, $20 kids. There is no where that you can get FREE flu vaccine that I know of in the ACT unless you have a specific medical condition. Ring around and ask the prices are your best option. Also they are not able to give Fluvax to kids anymore due to some side effects last year. There are other brands of the vaccine they can use.

dpm 6:27 pm 22 May 12

HenryBG said :

There are virtually no health benefits to getting a flu vaccination. Classic case of medical over-servicing.

I’m not picking this comment of yours in particular over any of the other comments (on seemingly every topic) you’ve made today, but I have to say, you’re on fire today HanryBG!
I’m not sure if RA has endured such a barrage of my-way-or-the-highway rants in all my time at this site!
Bravo! You should get some sort of award you all your ‘community service’ here – educating the simple citizens of Canberra with your wise words! 🙂

P.S I assume you’re on hols from your work schedule that makes no time for jury duty, as you seem to have been posting during the workday quite a lot of late? Or are you a shift worker? Hahahaha! Keep it up mate! Your posts are the best!

eh_steve 5:46 pm 22 May 12

Call your GP and ask if they use ‘Fluvax’ before booking in.

Fluvax is doing much much more than ‘causing fevers’, with an ACT infant being placed in intensive care in late April this year after Fluvax caused febrile convulsions.

Google Natasha Bita’s coverage in the Australian to gain an impression of the scope of the Fluvax problem. (For ACT infant story search ‘Child in intensive care as 57 kids get Fluvax’ and for wider, Walkley Award winning coverage, search ‘Virus in the system’).

It is unfortunate that we hold our restaurants to a higher standard,publishing their violations on the front door, but we don’t take any measures to protect the community from GPs that inject infants with a banned and potentially fatal compound.

By all means get your children vaccinated, but just make sure Fluvax stays far, far away from them.

HenryBG 4:08 pm 22 May 12

There are virtually no health benefits to getting a flu vaccination. Classic case of medical over-servicing.

supamum 1:16 pm 22 May 12

Birder,
My son is 5 he has had the flu vaccine for the last 2 years as he suffers quite nasty asthma, The belconnen medical centre (bottom floor, on the outside of the mall, near post office boxes) will give children the flu vaccine & for south siders Conder surgery at Lanyon (near dominos) will also give it there as they are owned and run by the same people.

Inappropriate 1:08 pm 22 May 12

GPs might be a little hesitant after Fluvax was causing fever in kids. As such, Fluvax is not authorized for kids under 5, and the TGA cautions against its use in 5-9 yr olds.

Currently only Influvac, Vaxigrip, Agrippal and Fluarix are approved for kids from 6 months old.

I’d try calling pharmacies and see if they know which GPs are handing them scripts for the aforementioned vaccines for infants.

birder 1:06 pm 22 May 12

Sorry for another follow-up, but I’ve figured out why it’s so hard to find a flu vaccine for a child. That’s because for some ridiculous reason, the Australian government decided to use Fluvax for their flu vaccinations, despite the fact that it’s banned for children under 5. (It caused brain damage and other problems in children a few years ago.) Fluvax also has worse side effects for adults.

So if the doctors are only stocking Fluvax, that is why no one will provide a flu vaccination for my 4 year old. Absolutely crazy!

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/health/flu-shots-with-side-effects-on-offer-again/story-fn59nokw-1226272233348

birder 1:02 pm 22 May 12

Katietonia, I’m not sure how to interpret your response. The Australian medical establishment supports young children being vaccinated for the flu. “Current Australian immunisation guidelines recommend annual influenza vaccination for anyone who wishes to protect themselves against influenza, which includes children aged six months and older.” From http://health.act.gov.au/alerts/influenza-in-the-act/flu-vaccinations/seasonal-flu-vaccination-in-children-aged-less-than-5-years

So the odd thing is that they recommend it but it’s hard to find anyone who will offer it.

Katietonia 12:49 pm 22 May 12

Maybe your GP won’t do it for the health of your child.

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