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Flu shot for sick baby?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm passing on this question from my friend:

Alyssa (1 year old) is in the hospital, she has been very sick in ICU. SO after talking to her Pulmonologist and several others they want me to go ahead and give her a flu vaccine With her new complications of her lung colapsing they are fearful that if she did get the specific strain she would not make it through the breathing issues this time.

I am scared to death. Do I take the chance? What do you think?

(I'm linking her to this thread...thanks for any help with this)
post #2 of 18
The flu shot has never been tested in kids that are sick.

It has only been tested in perfectly healthy kids and as it turns out it is useless.

I would absolutely not take that chance. I see no reason why anyone would.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitti View Post
The flu shot has never been tested in kids that are sick.

It has only been tested in perfectly healthy kids and as it turns out it is useless.

I would absolutely not take that chance. I see no reason why anyone would.
I totally agree. I cannot see ANY positives for giving her a flu shot while she is so sick.
post #4 of 18
NO NO I would not. Not a healthy baby, and especially not a sick baby.
post #5 of 18
No way...besides, studies have shown that it's not effective (on the rare occasion that they get the right stains) in children under 2.

Why risk it?
post #6 of 18
People who are ill or fighting an infection are not supposed to be given the flu vaccine, AND it has been shown to be no more effective than a placebo in patients under the age of two.

A sick baby should never receive any vaccine, but especially not the flu shot IMO.
post #7 of 18
I agree with the pp. I don't think giving vaccines to someone with a compromised immune system is a good idea at all.

That said, I just want to add that, because there are probably sound arguments on both sides here, you, as her mother, have to listen to your heart more than ever right now and do what feels like the best thing. Find a quiet place and really listen to what mother's intuition is telling you to do. I think it's the only way to make any decisions about vaccines these days. DD got really sick from a vaccine that I KNEW we shouldn't give her. It was the most powerful life lesson I've had. You're a mother. You're blessed with a 6th sense about your babies. Don't let doctors or anyone else railroad you away from your heart's knowledge.

post #8 of 18
Absolutely not. Keep her indoors, away from sick people and do a lot of hand washing...but no way in h&ll would I do a flu shot.
post #9 of 18
Totally agree with all thew above posts! I hope she feels better soon
post #10 of 18
http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/...d-age-bracket/

Another one -

http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com...l?cntwelcome=1

Quote:
Quote:
The Cochrane review comprised 51 studies of influenza vaccines — including 17 papers translated from Russian for the first time — involving more than 250,000 healthy youngsters under age 16.

Yet only a fraction of these studies focused on children younger than 2. Two efficacy studies involving about 1,000 toddlers indicate that flu shots containing inactivated virus — the only vaccine approved for this age group — are no more effective at preventing the flu than placebo.
post #11 of 18
I'm a little lost on details...is she in the ICU with a collapsed lung right now? And do they want to give her the flu shot right now? Or are they discussing it for when she's healthy enough to be discharged?? Because that's two completely different issues.

I know that many (most) on this board are completely anti-vax, but as a mother of a special needs child with a compromised immune system and malformed airway, I have to face the fact that flu really could KILL him. So my decision on vaxes is *much* more heart wrenching than it is for most other parents. This mama is in the same boat. Her baby is sick, very sick, the flu shot could help or not, but the flu stands a good chance of making here seriously ill or even killing her.

I personally would not do it while she's sick...but do a *TON* of research and consider it when she's better. Her lungs will be weak for a long time after this, perhaps the rest of her life even. Flu will be problematic.

Something else to consider is Synagis (RSV Immunoglobulin) It is the only vaccine my son has received so far, and although he did still get RSV last season, he was not hospitalized with it. I can't know for sure if the Synagis had anything to do with him not getting a severe case, but I had to make a decision, and my baby's life meant I was comfortable with the potential risks of the vaccine.

There's no easy answer here...
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post
I know that many (most) on this board are completely anti-vax, but as a mother of a special needs child with a compromised immune system and malformed airway, I have to face the fact that flu really could KILL him. So my decision on vaxes is *much* more heart wrenching than it is for most other parents. This mama is in the same boat. Her baby is sick, very sick, the flu shot could help or not, but the flu stands a good chance of making here seriously ill or even killing her.

Each shot carries a risk of further compromising that child's health. There is the immediate post-shot period where her immune system would be depressed and she would be more vulnerable to illness, and the potential for more long term negative impact on her immune system. The flu shot is in and of itself a risk, even if the strains she is exposed to are in the shot (which is no better than a placebo at her age anyway); despite what the manufacturers say, vaccines are NOT as harmless as saline.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post
There's no easy answer here...
If the flu shot has been shown to be no better than a placebo in children under the age of two, then it's a pretty easy answer, really. You're taking on quite a lot of risk for no proven benefit, and that's what most people would call pure quackery.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post
Each shot carries a risk of further compromising that child's health. There is the immediate post-shot period where her immune system would be depressed and she would be more vulnerable to illness, and the potential for more long term negative impact on her immune system. The flu shot is in and of itself a risk, even if the strains she is exposed to are in the shot (which is no better than a placebo at her age anyway); despite what the manufacturers say, vaccines are NOT as harmless as saline.
Oh trust me, I know all of this. I agonized over it all with my own son. Notice I did not recommend the vaccine, I only pointed out that the decision for this mama is not quite as cut-and-dry as it is for most mamas. My son did receive Synagis last winter (RSV immunoglobulin) and he did get sick after each shot. I had to accept the risk that he could come down with a small bug, which was the cost of providing him protection against a bug that was very likely, in his case, to cause severe potentially life threatening consequences. Synagis is one shot that there is actually data available on vaccinating special needs babies, so I was able to research it.

We have chosen not to do the flu shot for Connor despite his particular risks of contracting flu, we chose to not do it because his specific immune deficiency means that he likely could not have mounted an immune response to the vaccine anyway. If he could have mounted an appropriate immune response, the decision would have been a harder one. Special needs parents must face facts that parents of normal children never have to face, and it gives us a different perspective. I still choose not to vaccinate, but the decision was not easy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
If the flu shot has been shown to be no better than a placebo in children under the age of two, then it's a pretty easy answer, really. You're taking on quite a lot of risk for no proven benefit, and that's what most people would call pure quackery.
I have read the study equating the effects to a placebo, I am aware of it. However there are some children who do receive some benefit from the flu shot, and that is something this mama has to take into consideration. She has to see the condition of her daughter's health when she is released from the hospital and determine if the potential risks of the vaccine outweigh the potential benefits. *taking into account the efficacy*

For example, I very heavily researched and considered DTaP for Connor, a vaccine I easily decided to forego with Ian. The truth is, for Connor, pertussis can KILL him, his airway is just that unstable. No amount of SA can protect him. What finally made the decision for me was the low efficacy of that vaccine combined with a family history of reaction to the old DPT. But if I didn't have that family history, and if the vaccine was even a little bit more effective, I probably would have given it to him. The risk/benefit analysis for him is very different than it is for most people. And it will be different for this mama, as well.

I still think I would lean towards not giving it, but it's HER decision, and she has to know her daughter's health at that time to make the decision. I was just trying to point out that it's not as easy a decision as it is for most people.
post #15 of 18
Does anyone have a link to the placebo study? (the study itself)
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
Does anyone have a link to the placebo study? (the study itself)
I think this is one of them? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...ubmed_RVDocSum

and this is preliminarily indicating to expand that age group from 2 to 5 (needs to be looked into more):

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/con...ull/162/10/943
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophelia View Post
I think this is one of them? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/en...ubmed_RVDocSum

and this is preliminarily indicating to expand that age group from 2 to 5 (needs to be looked into more):

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/con...ull/162/10/943
Neither of these are the ones I have read before...the first one just states it's similar to a placebo, but doesn't link to the study. The other one I have read linked to the study, and if you read it carefully you saw that the first dose of the vaccine does not provide adequate protection, hence why they recommend a second shot if it's the first year the child has had the vaccine. The second shot in the series upped the effectiveness to about 60%, if I remember correctly. Still not great, but better than a placebo.

The second study can't be used because it states it was during a season when the vaccine did not match up with the circulating strains. That, of course, is a risk of the vaccine in the first place.

In this little girl's case, by the time she is healthy enough to receive the vaccine, there will be information available on what strains are circulating this year, so her parents will be armed with that information at least.

OP, is there an update on how she is doing?

And again, because I'm feeling defensive a bit, I never stated that I think this little girl should be vaccinated, just that the flu really could kill her due to the health of her lungs, so this mom will have to consider it much more than most of you. The flu is not scary to 99% of parents, but to parents like me who have children with malformed airways and immune deficiencies, it IS scary.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2boyzmama View Post
The second study can't be used because it states it was during a season when the vaccine did not match up with the circulating strains. That, of course, is a risk of the vaccine in the first place.
But that is an inherent quality of the flu shot, not just a risk. They are ALWAYS missing, even if not completely. I don't think that factor can be dismissed. Also, if that is the same study that I read, then mismatch wasn't the only issues - the authors also said that earlier studies did not use lab-confirmed results.

You mentioned above that the flu shot helps some kids. Are you citing something specific?

Not accusing you of anything, just inquiring.
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