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Flu
September 29, 2020

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 91
Flu

September 29, 2020

I have a question and it is this....Is "ordinary Flu" a reportable disease in the UK ? if not - it isn't in America (apparently) - then how does our Government arrive at their statistics ? .....David ?

September 29, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1189
Flu

September 29, 2020

Flu is not a notifiable disease. The statistics for the annual prevalence rates of flu are derived from hospital admissions/A&E data and GP contacts in the main. Care home flu data will form part of the GP figures.

September 29, 2020

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1648
Flu

September 29, 2020

I’ve been down to our local GP’s surgery to book flu jab for Kay ,me I’ve not had a flu jab since I packed up smoking 7 years ago ,so far I’ve been luck and only had a runny nose.

September 29, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1128
Flu

September 29, 2020

As a Lulworth Instructor, we were compelled to have the 'flu jab "in order to avoid Course disruption" by staff being off work - I was ILL for 3 weeks with the 'flu, & have never had the jab ( or the 'flu) since ! John (JKW)

September 30, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1189
Flu

September 30, 2020

Here is my unrequested but sincerely honest advice on the flu vaccine. Firstly, the flu vaccine is an inert or inactive vaccine grown in chicken eggs. Unlike some other vaccines it explicitly does NOT contain even micro amounts of the virus being vaccinated against. In short you simply cannot get the flu from the vaccine albeit I have a few friends who absolutely do not believe that, they swear they got flu immediately after having the jab. I tell them all the same thing, look up incubation and coincidence. Each year scientists try to ‘best guess’ the different flu viruses most likely to prevail globally from available statistics and data. There are about 60 different flu viruses. They come up with a different vaccine each year and the vaccine is about 70% effective in staving off the flu from those vaccinated. The ‘virus season’ begins in September with rhinovirus ( common cold), it progresses through Oct/Nov into Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) which is basically a heavier version of Rhinovirus but RSV can be deadly to older or more vulnerable folk. And then we go into the flu season. Makes you wonder how we survive doesn’t it!! My knowledge of these matters is not drawn from Google sources rather it is based on my 16 years of NHS employment where, most years, I spent a fair percentage of my Autumnal time in ‘flu conferences’ answering media questions on flu vaccines etc and trying to convince the local population to get vaccinated.   There is scant data to draw conclusions on the added co-morbidity effects of folk who get the two viruses, Covid and flu, in tandem albeit I have read that the mortality risk of Covid patients doubles if they also get the flu. It is something to do with the Cytokine effect whereby the immune system is sent into overdrive and causes severe heart damage. The so called Cytokine Storm has been known about in clinical circles for a long time but is now known to be particularly deadly in Covid 19 patients. I digress. The consensus opinion is Covid AND flu likely lessens one’s survival chances considerably.   Now, it has to be said that Government is urging us to have a flu jab for other reasons as well. They fear hospital overload if Covid and flu admissions rise exponentially throughout the winter. They fear lots of flu admissions of the elderly and vulnerable will mean more hospital acquired Covid cases, more ICU bed shortages and greater mortality figures.   I would 100% urge you all to have the flu jab. I say that sat here with a chest infection, snotty nose, sore throat etc, on antibiotics, having had the flu jab myself last week. I know my infection isn’t flu jab related.     I closing I would ask you to consider this. If you get flu you could end up in hospital. Getting the flu in our 70s is considerably different from having had it in our younger days!!! We KNOW cross infection is rife in hospital. You could end up fighting flu AND Covid. Is it worth the risk? My advice is sincere and given because I care. Stay safe everyone. D.      

September 30, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1128
Flu

September 30, 2020

Thanks for that VERY informative message David, which I take on board although still have reservations ! Is it pure coincidence that both you & I have suffered such symptoms shortly after having received the 'flu jab!? I take your point re hospital cross infection, I would have to be near death before agreeing to going "inside" one these days. Regards , & get well soon John (JKW)

October 1, 2020

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 91
Flu

October 1, 2020

Thankyou David for that very informative and sound advice. I would like to add to what you wrote by saying that "Both Mary & I have both been getting the Flu "jab" for many years" and have heard  people make ( almost)  the same comments as yourself John. A question I have asked my consultant Dr Dhar -  (Now Professor Dhar I believe who is/has  lectured at Durham University 0n Gastrointestinal  "themes". ( I honestly believe that I owe him my life), but that's another story and as David would say "I digress" ) -  is why do people say/believe that they "caught" the Flu from a Flu jab and was told that I must understand that the Flu virus mutates every year....just about... and that is why we have to have the "new" deactivated virus inoculation  every year. The current inoculation only protects us from KNOWN Flu viruses and not mutations that have not yet taken place. I hope that explanation (as I understood it) is not to inaccurate..... David ?....again !

October 1, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1189
Flu

October 1, 2020

You are partly correct Mick but the flu jab composition usually protects against the 4/5 main viruses circulating that year.   Each year about 100 countries send data to 5 WHO ‘flu’ centres for want of a better word, situated in London, the US, China, and 2 other countries I can no longer remember. These Centres collate the results and send them back to the main WHO lab. The scientists, epidemiologists et al at WHO then use all the collated data to come up with a recommended global vaccine composition. Each country then accepts or slightly modifies the WHO recommended vaccine composition to suit their particular country.   We generally accept the vaccine protects the vaccinated from about 70% of the flu viruses circulating in the UK THAT YEAR. So, while those vaccinated cannot catch the flu from the vaccine, they can still catch one of the ‘ non vaccine protected’ strains. The mutations you speak of are exactly why the 100 countries I mentioned earlier collate the information and send it to the 5 WHO centres. The flu vaccine production generally starts in February I recall. So your Professor would likely have referred to that fact rather than an ‘in year’ mutation.   John, apropos your comment re the ‘coincidence’ of us both getting infections closely after having the vaccination. You probably either had been incubating the virus before you were inoculated OR were unlucky enough to catch one of the strains not included in the vaccine. As for me! Well last night I was in A&E for 6 hours. Like you I have studiously avoided going anywhere near hospitals since this Covid virus began but having spent a greater part of yesterday coughing up blood we decided to return home and call 111 who said I should go to A&E immediately. Long story short, after X rays, blood tests etc I left with no diagnosis but a referral to a chest physician for........who know’s when lol. The good news is today the blood coughing seems to have stopped, fingers crossed. I suspect frequent coughing may have caused local trauma to my airways or the lungs themselves. The Amoxicillin is also kicking in now.   Take care everyone, stay safe.  

October 1, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1128
Flu

October 1, 2020

David, after yesterdays thread I spoke with daughter Angela (Band 8 NHS) who completely agreed with your information, further pouring water onto my assumption by stating "In addition it takes about two weeks for the flu jab to take its effect and have sufficient immunity to stave off those strains that it vaccinated against so those folk that get flu shortly after having the flu jab would have got it anyway and it’s not from the vaccine! "  

So my theory (& belief) since Lulworth days ( circa '75) have been completely wrong it seems - will I have the jab this year ? Probably "Yes" is the answer. Here's hoping you continue improving David, with the coughing stopped & the penicillin doing it's stuff progress should be both steady and rapid now. Take care John (JKW)

October 2, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1189
Flu

October 2, 2020

I am pleased to read your post John, you could just have had the vaccine after speaking to Angela and said nothing lol. Get it soon old friend, supplies are sketchy in some places already. Stay safe David.

October 2, 2020

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 91
Flu

October 2, 2020

David, John, I have been following  your comment/additions to my original post with immense interest. I would like to thank you BOTH for the input that you have given. It has been both helpful and enlightening. Mick.

October 2, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1128
Flu

October 2, 2020

Cheers Mick - I tried today phoning our local Doctor's to arrange my flu jab. Having been kept on hold for 25 minutes I was informed NO Appointments available at this time, all fully booked. When I enquired as to the length of time for the list ahead " Can't say" was the answer but  I was told to phone back again next week as they have full bookings up to the 20th, but by phoning next week they might have booking slots from the 10th. At that I gave up !! I've since discovered that some local chemists can provide the flu jab free of charge to us old farts, so will try them tomorrow - watch this space ! John (JKW)

October 2, 2020

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 1189
Flu

October 2, 2020

John, most pharmacies offer winter flu jabs both to eligible NHS patients and fee paying ones. I am reliably informed there is currently a delay in supplies reaching both GPs and pharmacies as I alluded to in my last post. Some GPs DO have limited supplies but I suspect what your practice might be telling you is they have enough vaccines to vaccinate those already booked in up until the 20th but are hoping for more supplies to arrive and if they do they will restart new bookings from the 10th. I may be wrong but otherwise it is a strange message! Boots is normally a good bet but I just checked online for you and they have suspended all flu jab services nationally because they can’t access any more vaccines at present.  I suspect the answer may be the same at other pharmacies. If you have no luck try outlets like Morrison’s pharmacies or some of the smaller pharmacies. Just trying to help. Hancock didn’t fill me with any confidence the other day when he said there was no rush as long as folk were vaccinated by December.......that’s well into the flu season? Hey good luck I hope you find somewhere to get it, different areas have different take up rates and supply reserves. D.

October 3, 2020

Joined: May 14, 2014
Posts: 91
Flu

October 3, 2020

Hello ALL. Yesterday Mary and I went to a LOCAL Pub for lunch. As we passed by Darlington football ground we noticed a DRIVE- THROUGH flu vaccination centre. - whether or not you had to book in advance I don.t know - So there might be one around where you live John ?....might be worth a quick "Google" ! Good luck and stay safe. Mick.  

October 3, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1128
Flu

October 3, 2020

Cheers both David & Mick - tried Boots today but was told "No supplies" but try again in a couple of weeks. I am reliably informed though ( Angela's contacts) that my local GP has stocks of the vaccine & the confusing message to me yesterday was because the person concerned who administers the jab has been off but is returning on Monday - she apparently has more of a grip on the booking system so fingers crossed ! John (JKW)

October 5, 2020

Joined: May 5, 2014
Posts: 1128
Flu

October 5, 2020

Eureka ! Have an appointment for this coming Monday (12th), which happens to be my 52nd Wedding Anniversary ! I'll drink to that LOL !. John (JKW)


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