Thursday, 20 January 2011

Should all children under 5 receive the swine flu jab?

It's none stop at the moment, I'm almost sick of the sight of it but yet I feel compelled to try and swallow up every and any piece of information I can about it. The flu is hitting the country hard, and whilst in Autumn the death rate was rising (as you would expect most years) it was pretty restricted to those with existing medical conditions who had sadly caught a strain of flu which their body simply couldn't cope with.

The shocker, however, was last week was last week when it was announced that Lana Ameen died at Liverpool Hospital from Swine Flu at just three years old. An otherwise healthy child, she didn't fit the criteria for a NHS Flu jab. 

I've always kept Kidders immunisations up to date. I, personally, don't question that children should have them; for me it's a no brainer. It is frightening, however, that Lana appeared to have over the Christmas period what so many of our children will have had this Winter - the common cold. You know the usual, a bit of a fever, wanting cuddles, seeming run down, tired, running nose, sneezes, cough... it's simply what we see every year. 

Lana Ameen, Intensive Care: The Guardian
The very same day that Lana's death was announced, Kidder was sent home with a dangerously high temperature. I couldn't control it and I was having flash backs to when he was taken into hospital to be tested for meningitis at just 14 months old. 

Lana's story is so, so sad and what's more, it's so real. Every single mother can relate to the sorrowful story. It's harrowing and shockingly scary that at a time when we dose our children with calpol, endure the sleepless nights and wish to the heavens that their illness will pass, we could actually be facing something much more serious.

And Lana's mother is right, when children under 5 are already identified as 'at risk' when swine flu hits why aren't they all entitled to the jab that can possibly prevent some strains of this terrible illness? 

You can see what Gemma Ameen, Lana's mother, has to say HERE.

The Department of Health are sticking by their guns, stating that it is not recommended that children under six who do not have any 'high-risk' medical factors have the swine flu jab.* 

Of course colds, fevers and other general 'kiddy' illnesses will always be and as shocking and upsetting as Lana's story is, it isn't going to happen to all of our children. Can we be any more vigilant? Are the NHS too quick to turn away children with a temperature and flu like symptoms? Is it all being blown out of proportion?

Our thoughts are most certainly with Lana's family at this sad, sad time. I cannot begin to imagine the pain they are experiencing.

How has this news affected you? How protected do you feel your children are against swine flu? 

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