The Vaccine Conundrum

I have recently received a letter from school asking for my permission to give Alfie, now aged 6, the nasal flu vaccine spray during school time.

I have to honestly say that any kind of vaccination my children have had, has given me concern and it is something to think long and hard about. I always  try to research as much as I can.  I mostly research on the internet across various official sites and forums, you name it – as many places as possible to find out the pros and cons of the vaccine.  But I’m still always dubious of a vaccine that is new to the market and has obviously had no long term testing as to adverse results.

Whilst looking into this flu vaccine, I came across a statement on the NHS website that stated:

in some parts of the country, all primary school-aged children will be offered the vaccine as part of a test programme

This made me quite nervous so I tried to get to the bottom of what they meant by ‘test programme’  – what are thy testing?  Is it how effective the vaccination is in stopping the spreading of the flu or is testing side effects or long term problems it could cause??  The website didn’t elaborate any further and I couldn’t find out any more info!

I am all for protecting our children, but I feel anxious thinking about bombarding their immune system with something I really don’t know much about. There’s plenty of reassurance over the vaccine but there’s very little information on how this could potentially weaken a child’s defences if taken one year then not again the following year/s.  Could they then be at higher risk as they aren’t fighting off the virus naturally like many have over the years?

I have to say here that when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, I was offered this vaccine but I chose not to take it as I couldn’t be sure as to how it could affect her in the long run.

Does this make me a reckless parent? Or someone who is just simply over protective? I’m sure people will have very strong opinions either way… But I stand by what I felt was right at that time.  I give my children healthy meals and vitamins and I hope that it will be enough to stave off the inevitable flu this year!

For more information on the flu vaccine or jab’s you can look at www.nhs.uk or www.cdc.gov among others.

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