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Flu Vaccine Issue

As you know, Flu (and Flu Complications) 'KILLS' many UK Patients each year.

Media / News are reporting that NHS Patients eligble for the Influenza Vaccine, received the cheaper Trivalent Version that Protects against 'A' Strains but only one 'B' Strain of Flu (rather than the Quadrivalent Version that protects against additional 'B' Strains as well).

As NHS Patients eligible for a 'Free' Flu Vaccine are among those at 'greatest risk' (i.e. Patients with Respiratory Illness, the Elderly - including those who suffer from Respiratory Illness AND are Old), it seems 'OUTRAGEOUS' this was 'not' clearly communicated to Patients 'prior to Inoculation', so that anyone who wished, could go elsewhere to seek the Quadrivalent Vaccine (even if it meant 'paying' for it). Especially as the Public are being told that this is the Worst UK Flu Outbreak for several years AND that many of those being admitted to Hospital (due to Flu, or complication arising from Flu) are infected with one of the 'B' Strains.

Neither of my Local Pharmacists are dispensing Flu Vaccines now, and one of them advised that the Quadrivalent Version is no longer available from the Supplier, who has stopped issuing it because it's envisaged (i.e. 'guessed') that the Virus will abate in several weeks time.

This means that (only those those who were privy to this matter 'way before' the recent news emerged, had sufficient Info to make an 'informed choice' as to whether to have the NHS Inoculation or seek-out the Quadrivalent Version) AND THAT - in all probability - 'you' and 'your loved ones' - had insufficient knowledge to motivate you to seek the Quadrivalent Variety. (Now, since the Media / News Revelation, it appears folk no longer have have much - if any - likelihood of remedying the matter, so must remain at 'greater risk' until the epidemic ends).

All the NHS had to do was to tell Patients 'up-front' they were too strapped to provide the more comprehensive 'Qaudrivalent' Vaccine (just two or three quid more expensive) and give us the option to seek it elsewhere. (Doing that may well have 'saved' the NHS a ton of Money, even if only a 'couple of percent' of Patients who were advised of the situation/risk, 'decline' the NHS Trivalent Option, and chose - instead - to 'buy' the Quadrivalent Version outside of the NHS).

I guess most Pharmacists 'selling' Inocualtion to those not eligible for an NHS 'Free' Jab, were dispensing the 'Cheaper' Trivalent - but I also believe that anyone who decided they wanted the 'additional protection' from the Quadrivalent Version could have order it up (assuming they were happy to pay a bit extra for it).

Lets hope that next Flu Season we're told about this IN ADVANCE if the Cheaper Version of the Vaccine is being 'pushed'

7 Replies
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I wonder WHO did get the Quadrivalent version?

This is a disgrace!

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Doctors?

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One has to wonder how much of a saving the NHS has made by not using the quadrivalent vaccine - given the reported soaring numbers attending A&E with flu symptoms or did using a cheaper version turn out to be a false economy? If so it wouldn’t be the first time the NHS bosses have made that mistake.

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My understanding is that the quadrivalent vaccine is in the nasal spray given to children, whereas the trivalent one is the injection given to adults. There are around 15 flu serotypes which can infect humans and, whilst I agree it would be nice to have immunity to all, there is presumably a limit to how many it is reasonable to vaccinate against (one criteria presumably being the speed of mutation of the particular strain). It may also have been decided that children are at greater risk of the B-virus or that vaccinating against it in the elderly would be futile as the vaccine has limited effect on this group. However, protection against the H3N2 virus, which has caused a widespread problem in Australia, IS included in both vaccines.

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Though of course one could argue, quite reasonably, that if children are at greater risk of the B virus, so also is any adult who has a compromised immune system.

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Quite so, and I strongly suspect a cost motive, but unless you want to vaccinate against ALL strains, I suppose you have to draw a line somewhere.

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Of course, they can’t vaccinate against all strains. What is wrong about this is that they could have vaccinated against more, but made the decision not to do so for some of the most vulnerable - with potentially disastrous consequences.

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