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NHS antivaxers may be banned from treating patient

Printed From: Avian Flu Talk
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: General Discussion
Forum Description: (General discussion regardining new emerging virulent diseases and preparation for the next pandemic)
URL: http://www.avianflutalk.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=38460
Printed Date: September 18 2019 at 8:23pm


Topic: NHS antivaxers may be banned from treating patient
Posted By: Technophobe
Subject: NHS antivaxers may be banned from treating patient
Date Posted: September 08 2018 at 11:06am
NHS staff who refuse flu vaccine may be banned from treating patients



Doctors and nurses who refuse to have a flu jab this winter could be banned from working with patients, the NHS regulator has warned.

Health chiefs announced on Friday that frontline staff who fail to get the vaccine will be forced to explain themselves and may be “redeployed” away from wards.

The significant hardening of policy follows the crisis in NHS hospitals last winter, principally in A&E, driven by the worst outbreak of influenza in seven years.

Despite the threat posed by the condition, nearly one third of frontline health care workers had not been vaccinated.

Experts believe this exacerbated the pressures faced by hospitals due to higher than necessary absence through sickness, as well as unvaccinated staff spreading the virus among patients without necessarily falling ill themselves.

Figures suggest that a third of last winter’s increase in emergency admissions were flu-related

The new mandatory policy from NHS Improvement was announced alongside £145 million to prepare hospitals for the upcoming flu season.

This will include the provision of two additional wards at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, where last January a senior emergency doctor publicly apologised for the “third world conditions” endured by patients in A&E.



A study published in the same month found that for every 10 per cent increase in NHS vaccination rates, there is a 10 per cent fall in sickness absence.

According to NHS Improvement, “staff who decide not to be vaccinated to explain the reason, so that the organisation can use the information to support greater compliance”.

The statement added: “In hospital departments where patients have lower immunity and are most at risk of flu, it may be appropriate for those who choose not to be vaccinated to be redeployed to other areas where this promotes the overall safety of patients.”

NHS and social workers are entitled to the flu vaccine free of charge, while GP, dental practices and community pharmacies are expected to offer the jab to their frontline staff.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer at NHS, said: “By getting vaccinated against flu, health care workers can protect themselves, their families, colleagues and patients, making sure we have a healthy workforce and helping to reduce the pressures on services over winter.”

This year a newly-licenced “trivalent” vaccine will be available to all people aged over 65, which promises the strongest protection against flu in this more susceptible group.



Last winter saw the worst flu outbreak since 2010/11, with poor weather and increased outbreaks of respiratory ang gastrointestinal illnesses increasing demand

Nearly 300,000 more people attended A&E departments and 100,000 more people were admitted to hospital as an emergency compared to the year before.

More than 4.5 million in England were thought to be suffering from flu.

Dr Kathy McLean, chief operating officer at NHS Improvement, said: ““As we plan for this coming winter, efforts must continue to ensure emergency services and beds are prioritised for the sickest patients and that more people are enabled to recover at home.

“No one should stay in hospital any longer than they need to.”

The schemes announced on Friday from money already allocated to healthcare will pay for 256 new ambulances, as well as “make ready” hubs at ambulance headquarters to improve the restocking and maintenance of vehicles, leaders announced.


Source:    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/07/nhs-staff-refuse-flu-vaccine-may-banned-treating-patients/" rel="nofollow - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/07/nhs-staff-refuse-flu-vaccine-may-banned-treating-patients/

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.



Replies:
Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 08 2018 at 12:01pm
So they use a year when the vaccine clearly didn't work to advocate for much stricter guidelines.... yea that makes sense.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 08 2018 at 2:45pm
Vaccines are never 100% effective, but even the worst ones save lives. The last was no exception.

When it comes to vaccination, I believe in a person's right to chose; it's their life to risk. It would be nice if the truth were told about vaccines. They do carry risks. On average, said risks are far smaller than those of the disease, both in the size of the side-effects and the frequency. A ratio of a thousand to one is probably an understatement, but telling the lie that they are 100% safe is giving fuel to the anti-vaccine arguments that they do not warrant. Still, stupid or not a person should have the right to choose.

But in the instance of healthcare professionals, who are unvaccinated, it's not just their own life they are risking. If someone is not prepared to put their patients needs first, they should do another job.


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 09 2018 at 2:09pm
Yes Technophobe I hear your point.   However it doesn't change my point.   Even your strongest vaccine proponents admit last years vaccine was a miss.   Even if everybody was vaccinated it probably wouldn't have made a difference.

The optics of this announcement would have been much better had it been made in reference to a vaccine that they could prove the effectiveness of.   Last years vaccine was not one to stake the farm on.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 09 2018 at 2:52pm
Not true.

Well, not entirely.

It is true the vaccine was a miss. There were at least 4 strains of flu circulating and the trivalent only covered 3 of them. So many more people got sick than should have. The nastiest of the 4 strains WAS covered by the vaccine - at least partially.

Tragically every year people die of the flu. A few vaccinated people die along with the unvaccinated. But many, many more unvaccinated die than vaccinated people do. This year the ratio was not so gigantic as usual, because the vaccine partially missed. But it was tens of times less people who were unvaccinated who died, compared to a normal year, when hundreds of unvaccinated die for every vaccinated persons death, or a good-match year when the ratio is thousands to one.

There is a moral consideration too.

Vaccinated people can spread flu. They touch infected surfaces and transfer the virus to everything else they touch for the next few hours. Then the virus dies on their skin and they stop transitting it.

Unvaccinated people do the same. Then a day or so later - sometimes even before they exhibit symptoms - they start to distribute the flu they have incubated in their own bodies. This spreading of the contation goes on for a couple of weeks or more.

1918 aside, healthy young adults rarely die of the flu. It is the elderly, sick and very young who suffer most. Some young healthy adults even "heroically soldier on" at work or whatever to demonstrate their "grit and determination" to do the brave thing - risking even more other people's lives.

Last years vaccine was a little off target. But even the worst vaccine matches save lives.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 09 2018 at 7:14pm
The ratios you speak of re:vaccinated deaths vs non vaccinated deaths do you have any research to support that? The only reason I am skeptical of the flu vaccine is because of the complete dearth of clear cut easy to understand research showing effectiveness.

If you can back up your statement it would be a game changer for me and I would seriously reconsider my stance.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:34am
Believe me I can sympathise on that! It does not exist! The anti-vaccination sites simplify the data but do not understand it and then they play chinese whispers with their (mis)interpretations. The scientifically rigorous sites do not attempt to simplify the data in case they may occlude the tentative results.


So do I have sites to quote? Not ones I am happy with. That is why I rounded down my ratios- to err on the side of caution.

There are lots of sites posting and reposting a mixture of misunderstood statistics and falsifed data on this, so it takes a while to track any reliable stuff down (part of the reason for my rant on the dishonesty of the pro vaccination side). It takes even longer to integrate the results. So figures for this year are not available yet (or I just totally failed to find them).

As an attempt to illustrate the ratios: The CDC is reasonably scientifically rigorous, so this is a start: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/children-flu-deaths.htm" rel="nofollow - https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/children-flu-deaths.htm , it's pretty ancient (2013) and only covers pediatric deaths, but it does demonstrate the point that even on a bad year (2013 was about the same as 2017) the death rate is far higher in the unvaccinated. I hope it provides the answers you seek. It is the best I can access at present.

Of course it does not attempt to address the figures detailing those who, if their contacts had been vaccinated, never would have got the flu in the first place (that would raise the ratio hugely, but I can't calculate by exactly how much) and although there were roughly 10 times as many flu deaths in this cohort for the unvaccinated, the effective result ratio coud be as much as 2/3 lower as 3/4 of the population had used the vaccine that year https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6337a1.htm" rel="nofollow - https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6337a1.htm so the quoted results of vaccinated deaths came from a cohort 1/3 the size of the cohort of unvaccinated. (1 death in 25,000 people is a higher CFR than one death in 75,000.) To confuse those results even further, there is a greater tendency to vaccinate the already sick, so the death rate in the smaller group could as easily be deflated as inflated.

Trying to find anyone else with both the courage of their convictions and the scientific rigor to demonstrate them is downright impossible.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878093" rel="nofollow - https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/878093 is another reliable one - but we are entering paid for peer reviewed journals here and I don't have the cash.

Older journal results are easier to access. But the problems are still there with collating and interpreting the statistics. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/170/5/650/102527" rel="nofollow - https://academic.oup.com/aje/article/170/5/650/102527 is a case in point. I am stil struggling with the adjustment protocols the authors used. The article is almost as much about the difficulty of producing reliable data as it is about the findings! Just finding persons who are guaranteed vaccinated/unvaccinated post-mortem can be surprisingly hard. Asking grieving relatives is both cruel and uncertain. Care homes have records, but their residents already have many co-morbidities, giving the researchers less reliable data and yet more reasons to obfuscate.

As that last journal piece demonstrated, the reputable scientific community is reluctant to rely 100% on its own figures; it always assumes new data wil present itself, better collation methods will be found or that there is room for improvement in its methods of interpretation. This leads to understating the point (as I copied them in) over complicating the mathematical protocols followed and often an outright refusal to draw conclusions.

The pseudoscientific sites quoted by many anti-vaccinators are hindered by no such rigor.   So I can only come back to the CDC report. There is a mountain of data out there, but almost nothing I trust enough to quote.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 4:16am
Last years vaccine wasn't a fail,it was the fact another virus came out of "left field" a near perfect storm, I don't have a shot every year in fact I've only ever had two, as I get older I think i just don't want to go though another bad flu,ive had the REAL FLU 4 times in my life, I say real flu because most people only ever get a cold, the real flu knocks you out for a week or two and three or four weeks to get over ,

So may as well have a shot, but not every year,

But other vaccinations Im all for them......

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12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 5:58am
I think Carbon makes a valid point.

Our NHS offers free vaccinations every year to the most vulnerable. I 1/2 qualify. Some years I get no vaccine even if I beg; other years begging gets me one; last year they offered a jab without my begging and gave me a pneumonia jab too.

Some years a worse flu circulates than others.

If you are between 21 and 45, healthy and prepared to put in the effort to monitor the strains circulating, skipping the vaccine on milder-flu years could be beneficial. A good dose of the flu strengthens the immune system for ensuing years. Unpleasant in the extreme and unless you are in a position to isolate yourself for the duration, unethical, but potentially beneficial.

On a nasty flu year, even the partial protection of a near-miss vaccine may save your life; not to mention your hearing/long-term lung health and family!

To aid the calculation of when, I will let you know each year what the NHS thinks, as demonstrated by the ease-of-access of my own vaccinations. I trust the way they protect their budgets more than most published statistics.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 10:54am
Technophobe... so this report said that 90% of flu deaths happened in the non vaccinated, but shows no data or how they got to that number. It doesn't show any reduction in illness rates or hospitalization rate.   Maybe if I take it at face value shows a reduced death rate from diagnosed flu. Maybe the vaccine just makes flu diagnosis less likely. Or maybe the vaccine makes it more likely to die of something else. I want to see a study that shows a lower mortality among the vaccinated not just a lower diagnosed flu mortality.

A longitudinal study would be so simple to do.   Just study three groups over a period of several years.   One group would be ones who always receive the vaccine one group who never receives and one group who occasionally receive.

I hate to repeat myself (but I will anyways lol).   If flu is as dangerous as they say, and the vaccine is as effective as they say it should be very easy to measure in the type of study that I suggested.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 12:47pm
Dream on.

As things stand, this study is about the most accurate you can get - and I agree, it is more full of holes than a swiss cheese.

As far as I am aware, the CDC bases its findings on national statistics. But the whole area is far too difficult to research accurately, unless of course you deliberately forced a number of people to vaccinate and prevented another from doing so. Even Joseph Mengele might find the ethics of that study a bit problematic.

Science rarely has definitive answers - at least until the question is "hoary with age". The ratio of vaccinated to unvaccinated deaths is no exception. On balance of probability, vaccination is a clear winner, but the jury is out on: "By how big a margin?" That question will probably not be answered until medical science has superceeded the jab with something else entirely. I value my life too highly to avoid the jab any year and don't have time to wait for a better option to appear.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: KiwiMum
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 12:54pm
The thing that gets my goat is when the medical professionals call a vaccine and immunisation. This is a fallacy. A vaccine is just that, a vaccine, and in some people it gives immunity to an illness, but in some people a vaccine has no effect. So in order to say someone has been immunised against an illness, they have to be tested a week or so later to see if that vaccine has worked on them.

So, the point I'm trying to make here in a long winded way, is, even if the NHS succeed in bullying all their staff to have the flu jab, unless they are willing to test for immunity later, and if needs be give a second jab and then test again, there will be a percentage of their staff who will still spread the flu.

There is a nasty element of big brother about this apparent mandate.

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If it is to be, it is up to me.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:17pm
"dream on" I have no idea what that comment was in reference to.   I don't see anything about methodology or how they got that number.   Maybe I am missing something.   Why don't they link the actual study?


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 3:45pm
Really?

Just how would you approach that study?

How do you guarantee each subject group complies?
How do you control their exposure rate, type and level?
Almost all flu-deaths are from complications, how do you draw the line as to which is a flu death?

Major studies involve thousands of patients. How are you going to fund this? The government health bodies, epidemiologists, cytlogists, doctors and drug companies already think they have the answers.

What are you going to do regarding your own vaccination during this study? Why not allow your cohort members the freedom to chose for themselves - that includes changing their minds.

The proof you require is already available to the highest degree possible. Ok so that is still only 'on balance of probabilities', but it would be effectively impossible to do better.

'On balance of probabilities' the car you drive is safe, the Darwinian theory of evolution is sound and the sun will come up tomorrow.

I don't believe in a flat Earth, ancient aliens or faked moon landings even though I don't have direct access to the satellites showing the Earth as a globe, government top-secret files, or the reflectors left on the moon reflecting back the lasers which astronomical scientists train on them. But the balance of those probabilities have convinced me beyond reasonable doubt. I would love more proof. But I expect we must rely on the best science available.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 4:23pm
I'm pretty sure that in this day and age, with people wanting to sue at the drop of a hat, the NHS(gorra love it) has "Done the numbers" and its better to vaccinate than not to,

IE.you go to the ER catch the Flu from a doctor,go home give it to your wife and kids, they die you don't, you will sue the hospital,so for the sake of a couple of bucks the hospital saves millions in litigation....

Well maybe?

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12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 4:41pm
"Almost all flu-deaths are from complications"   See that is why you need to look at overall mortality and not just mortality from diagnosed flu patients.

My study suggestion wouldn't be perfect.   Yes some people may not comply and some may lie to researchers.   However if you have enough subjects for a long enough time that should disappear in the noise.

Here again the flu vaccine is supposed to have a very significant effect it should be easy to show.

Also carbon your example I find a bit silly... you can never prove where you where exposed to flu so there would never been any litigation. (only exception might be with a novel virus but then vaccination wouldn't be available anyways).


Posted By: FluMom
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 6:15pm
Hey all of you can argue all I want to know at over 65 should I take the Quadrivalent or the High Dose which has only three strains!!! Anyone have a view on that one.

I take the Flu Shot every year I have had Pneumonia too many times. Yes I have had the Pneumonia shot I still need the new one but have the old type.

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Always Be Prepared


Posted By: KiwiMum
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 9:44pm
Flumom, have the newest vaccine which has the 4 strains and covers the latest Aussie flu. Here in NZ we are still seeing this terrible cold / flu like illness doing the rounds. And in each case it's taking 8 weeks to get over it and for the nasty deep cough to finally go.

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If it is to be, it is up to me.


Posted By: FluMom
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 10:03pm
Great info I think I will go with the quad this year. I was sorry I did not last year did not get sick but I had a fear that I would get the one flu that was not covered in the tri high dose.   My doc does not think the high dose does any better than the regular. You gave me a good reason to go with the quad. Thanks!

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Always Be Prepared


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 10 2018 at 10:06pm
Instead of just complaining let me propose a very simple alternate approach. I purpose all workers have their temps checked on the way into work. If a healthcare worker shows up to work and has a fever or any acute flu like symptoms any time during flu season they are sent home with a full days pay and have as long as needed to recover with no questions asked.    It should be a national policy.   A big part of this problem is that employers place unreasonable demands on workers many are afraid to call off even when they are legitimately sick.

Yes I know you can spread the illness even before you have symptoms and you have to watch out for asymptomatic carriers.   Those are tiny problems imo compared to the prevalence of healthcare workers actually working while in the midst of a significant illness. These people think they can can wear a dinky mask and gloves once in awhile and their patient is protected.... <sigh>


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 11 2018 at 12:12am
A good dose of paracetamol can hide the fever; remember Pauline Cafferky?

Otherwise, spot on, DT! We tend to see doctors as god-like supermen. Yet they are as fallable as anyone else. Then we overwork them to the point of collapse and prosecute them when they fail.

FluMom, I have to back KiwiMum on this; I am certain the quad is better. As Carbon pointed out a few posts back, the last flu "came out of left field" so the more strains the better. Your immune system benefits more from varied strains. The more variety in the vaccine - the more of a wake-up-call it gives your system. So from the point of view of the first 3 strains, adding a fourth is equivalent to getting a bigger hit.

I only wish they offered the 4 strains over here!


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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 11 2018 at 10:15am
Yes I know Tylenol will take a fever away.   That combined with the strong incentive to not call off is the problem.   The policy should be written in a way that it is in the workers benefit not to hide the fever.

Also I don't tend to think the problem is from the Doctors... they tend to have minimal patient contact and have good PPE practices.   The problem is the front line workers.... The nurses, the aids, housekeeping, laundry, and kitchen.   Also in the average day you have more visitors and vendors coming through the facility than you have patients.    You have very little control over these people.   Maybe everybody coming in the facility needs to have their temps checked.    Technology could make this very doable.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 11 2018 at 11:26am
Also agreed!

If I go to a food factory as a visitor, I must wear foot covers, hair covers, sanitise my hands and sometimes wear an overall or apron. If I visit a friend in hospital, I am provided with hand sanitiser - to use if I choose.

First our immune systems have no priming, whilst we are healthy. But when we are already sick, all bets are off. What a joke! - except it's not funny.

Would'nt it be nice if we got things the right way around for a change?

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 11 2018 at 2:05pm
Maybe the answer is just a simple law making hospitals liable for nosocomial infections. Then we might actually see policies that are effective.   There is technology available that would greatly reduce the risks in a health care setting.   We can make improvements in ventilation.... UV robots and UV air filters should be used... all exterior doors can be equipped with temperature scanners. Technology also probably exists or could be created that would sniff the air for viruses and bacteria and set off alarms when the loads are high. There is also promise in material science... we will probably be able to create surfaces that are much less hospitable to contagions.

And with flu in particular it might be as simple as maintaining certain specific air temps and humidity levels to prevent it from becoming air born.   There is a reason flu is seasonal.... yes vitamin d levels have an effect but the virus also needs certain specific environmental conditions for it to flourish.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: September 11 2018 at 3:04pm
i think you overthinking it ,

why not just have a flu shot,

it's much cheaper............

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12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 11 2018 at 4:09pm
Odd though it might sound, I think I agree with both of you.

The flu shot is definitely cheaper and easier. But it is an improvement (true it's a big improvement - very big) not a solution. 90% less deaths still leave 10% dying. As the technology progresses and as the tech drops in price, hopefully some of those processes will be adopted.

When Hubby was undergoing his cancer treatments and his immune system was seriously depressed, I put surgical masks and hand sanitiser in my hall. I told our friends to use it or lose our invitation to visit - permanently. Then whilst he was finishing the last of the treatment in the hospital I cleaned my previously grubby house.

If I can manage to avoid nosocomal infections on a delapidated farmhouse with more pets than any sensible no make that sane person would have, surely hospitals can adapt at least a bit.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 12:09am
dont get me wrong im all for keeping the place as clean as possible,

i dont believe you having the shot will protect those around you ,thats just not right ,

for me having the shot means i dont have 2 weeks off work feeling near death,so weak not able to open a can (food LOL),
and 3 /4 weeks to get over it ,

and if it means the hospitals not having staffoff sick , then im all for the plan to vaccinate the staff.

just makes sense well to me

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12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: KiwiMum
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 12:15am
We have visited Christchurch hospital 4 times in the last month, and the entrance way was so full of people all coming and going. I can't see how it is possible to stop a flu virus spreading when hospitals no longer have visiting hours and the world and his wife can come and go.

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If it is to be, it is up to me.


Posted By: DeepThinker
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 12:27am
Technophobe a big part of it in your situation was probably just about all bugs you had at home was stuff he had already been exposed to and developed immunity to.   We have a saying in healthcare: "you can't get sick from your own stuff". On balance the hospital was probably more clean than your home however... the bugs it did have would have probably been very dangerous to him.   If you are able to recover at home it is almost always a preferred option to doing so in the hospital.

That being said good job on taking care of your Hubby!


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 5:12am
Thank you Deep Thinker.

On balance the hospital was/is massively cleaner. For starters they have no pets and for seconds their cleaners are both able bodied and professional. It goes on from there. Currently they have hot and cold running water - I don't.

But you are absolutely on the nail! Familiar bugs are reasonably safe whereas bugs which are familiar with antibiotics are the most dangerous.

As for care of hubby - that was pure selfishness on my part.   

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 10:01am
[FluMom, this is the official line on the vaccine choice. It does not lead me to chamge my approach or conclusions, but you know your own immune system best and how sensible those around you are when it comes to vaccinations. So here goes:]

What You Need To Know About This Year's Flu Vaccines
Will they protect against Aussie and Japanese flu?

After an awful winter last year – there were 15,000 deaths caused by flu in England (almost double the national average) – health officials are increasing efforts to protect the population’s health.

This winter there will be two flu vaccines on offer. The quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four strains of flu, will be available to those under 65, for the first time ever in the UK – in previous years, the flu vaccine only protected against three.

Meanwhile the over-65s will be offered an immune-boosting vaccine which only protects against three strains, but is still hugely recommended for this age group.

Public Health England’s medical director Professor Paul Cosford said that strains of flu circulating in the southern hemisphere’s winter are similar to last year. Although it has been a mild season in terms of flu in the southern hemisphere, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a mild flu season in the UK, he added.

Cosford warned the public that the number one way to protect against flu is to have a vaccination. So which should you have?

The standard jab

This year’s quadrivalent vaccine - generally available to most people aged 65 and under - protects against the following flu strains:

:: Influenza A/H1N1 – the strain of flu that caused the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

:: Influenza A/H3N2 – a strain of flu (otherwise known as Australian flu) that mainly affects the elderly and people with long-term health conditions. Professor Cosford said the vaccine wasn’t as effective as they’d hoped in protecting against this strain last year.

:: Influenza B/Brisbane – a strain of flu that particularly affects children.

:: Influenza B/Yamagata (otherwise known as Japanese flu) - a strain of flu that impacts children more, however last winter it also impacted the elderly.

A nasal spray version of the vaccine will also be on offer to children and young people aged two to 17 years in an eligible group.

The immune-boosting jab

The ‘adjuvanted trivalent’ vaccine works by improving the body’s immune response to the vaccine. This is important because typically older adults’ bodies do not respond as well to the flu vaccine due to their naturally weaker immune systems. They are also more likely to suffer complications from flu.

PHE estimates this vaccine, which is available to the over-65s only, will reduce GP consultations by 30,000. It’s also thought there will be 2,000 fewer hospitalisations and 700 hospital deaths prevented as a result of the jab being on offer.

The jab wasn’t available last year as it was only licensed for use in the UK in 2017. It protects against three strands of flu, as there currently isn’t an immune-boosting vaccine that protects against the four strains.

The downside is that it doesn’t protect against Japanese flu, however health officials believe there might be some “cross protection” offered from the other strains the jab protects against.

Who gets the vaccine for free?

24 million people will be offered free flu vaccines this season - that’s three million more than last year. It will be offered to the following groups:

:: those aged 65 and over

:: those aged 18-64 with a long-term health condition

:: children aged 2-3 years old via their GP practice

:: children in reception class and school years 1-5

:: pregnant women

:: health and social care workers (including hospice workers)

:: carers

:: morbidly obese people

When should you get it?

The earlier, the better. Due to GPs receiving the vaccines in staged deliveries, people will be contacted when they need to have it. This should be around October time. If you don’t hear from your GP, ask them when you can have it.

Boots pharmacy is already offering the quadrivalent jab for free, if you are deemed as being in an ‘at-risk’ group, or for £12.99 if you aren’t.

PHE emphasised that it’s never too late to get vaccinated, but ultimately before December is best.
Where can you get the vaccine?

:: GP practices.

:: Pharmacies (including Superdrug, Boots, Lloyds Pharmacy, Asda and Tesco).

:: Some people may be offered the flu vaccine through their work’s health scheme.

Are there any side effects?

Side effects of the nasal vaccine can include a runny or blocked nose, headache, tiredness and some loss of appetite. The injection can cause a sore arm, low grade fever and aching muscles for a day or two afterwards.

Is the flu vaccine suitable for vegans?

If you’re vegan, or a vegetarian who strictly doesn’t eat eggs, the flu vaccine won’t be suitable because it will have been incubated in egg. That said, it’s fine for people with egg allergies, according to PHE, as the levels are very low.

A spokesperson previously told HuffPost UK: “The production and availability of egg-free flu vaccines is determined by flu vaccine manufacturers and they have not made any egg-free flu vaccines this season.”

[size4]What are the symptoms of flu?

Flu differs from the common cold in that symptoms are usually far worse. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose, while flu symptoms often come on quickly with sufferers experiencing a fever, a dry chesty cough, tiredness, the chills, joint pain or aching muscles.

Much of the time it will make them too unwell to do anything.

Other symptoms include: diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, a sore throat, a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
Other ways to prevent it

Practice good hand hygiene – for example, washing your hands with soap and warm water before preparing and eating food, or after using public transport –and avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they are experiencing symptoms of flu.


Source and video:    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/flu-vaccine-2018-what-you-need-to-know_uk_5b966942e4b0cf7b0041e27e" rel="nofollow - https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/flu-vaccine-2018-what-you-need-to-know_uk_5b966942e4b0cf7b0041e27e



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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 10:02am
Of course there is option 3: Get whichever is supplied for free then get the other privately 3-4 weeks later.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 2:02pm
Adjuvant
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigationJump to search
For adjuvant therapy in cancer care, see adjuvant therapy.
An adjuvant is a pharmacological or immunological agent that modifies the effect of other agents. Adjuvants may be added to a vaccine to modify the immune response by boosting it such as to give a higher amount of antibodies and a longer-lasting protection, thus minimizing the amount of injected foreign material. Adjuvants may also be used to enhance the efficacy of a vaccine by helping to modify the immune response to particular types of immune system cells: for example, by activating T cells instead of antibody-secreting B cells depending on the purpose of the vaccine.[1][2] Adjuvants are also used in the production of antibodies from immunized animals. There are different classes of adjuvants that can push immune response in different directions, but the most commonly used adjuvants include aluminum hydroxide and paraffin oil.[1][2]


Contents
1     Immunologic adjuvants
1.1     Mechanism
1.2     Adjuvants as stabilizing agents
1.3     Types of adjuvants
1.4     The mechanism of immune stimulation by adjuvants
1.5     Alum as an adjuvant
2     Concerns
3     References
4     External links
Immunologic adjuvants
Main article: Immunologic adjuvant
Immunologic adjuvants are added to vaccines to stimulate the immune system's response to the target antigen, but do not provide immunity themselves. Adjuvants can act in various ways in presenting an antigen to the immune system. Adjuvants can act as a depot for the antigen, presenting the antigen over a longer period of time, thus maximizing the immune response before the body clears the antigen. Examples of depot type adjuvants are oil emulsions. An adjuvant can also act as an irritant, which engages and amplifies the body's immune response.[3] A tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (DPT) vaccine, for example, contains minute quantities of toxins produced by each of the target bacteria, but also contains some aluminium hydroxide.[4] Such aluminium salts are common adjuvants in vaccines sold in the United States and have been used in vaccines for more than 70 years.[5]

Mechanism
Adjuvants are needed to improve routing and adaptive immune responses to antigens. This reaction is mediated by two main types of lymphocytes, B and T lymphocytes. Adjuvants apply their effects through different mechanisms. Some adjuvants, such as alum, function as delivery systems by generating depots that trap antigens at the injection site, providing a slow release that continues to stimulate the immune system.[6] This is now under debate, as studies have shown that surgical removal of these depots had no impact on the magnitude of IgG1 response.[7]

Adjuvants as stabilizing agents
Although immunological adjuvants have traditionally been viewed as substances that aid the immune response to the antigen, adjuvants have also evolved as substances that can aid in stabilizing formulations of antigens, especially for vaccines administered for animal health.[3]

Types of adjuvants
Analgesic adjuvants
Inorganic compounds: alum, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, calcium phosphate hydroxide
Mineral oil: paraffin oil
Bacterial products: killed bacteria Bordetella pertussis, Mycobacterium bovis, toxoids
Nonbacterial organics: squalene
Delivery systems: detergents (Quil A)
Plant saponins from Quillaja (See Quillaia), Soybean, Polygala senega
Cytokines: IL-1, IL-2, IL-12
Combination: Freund's complete adjuvant, Freund's incomplete adjuvant
Food-based oil: Adjuvant 65, which is a product based on peanut oil.[8] Adjuvant 65 was tested in influenza vaccines in the 1970s, but was never released commercially.[9]
The mechanism of immune stimulation by adjuvants
Adjuvants can enhance the immune response to the antigen in different ways:

Extend the presence of antigen in the blood
Help the antigen presenting cells absorb antigen
Activate macrophages and lymphocytes
Support the production of cytokines
Alum as an adjuvant
Alum was the first aluminium salt used as an adjuvant, but has been almost completely replaced by aluminium hydroxide and aluminium phosphate for commercial vaccines.[10]

Concerns
Adjuvants may make vaccines too reactogenic, which often leads to fever. This is often an expected outcome upon vaccination and is usually controlled in infants by over-the-counter medication if necessary.

An increased number of narcolepsy (a chronic sleep disorder) cases in children and adolescents was observed in Scandinavian and other European countries after vaccinations to address the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic in 2009.[11]

Narcolepsy has previously been associated with HLA-subtype DQB1*602, which has led to the prediction that it is an autoimmune process. After a series of epidemiological investigations, researchers found that the higher incidence correlated with the use of AS03-adjuvanted influenza vaccine (Pandemrix). Those vaccinated with Pandemrix have almost a 12 times higher risk of developing the disease. The adjuvant of the vaccine contained vitamin E that was no more than a day’s normal dietary intake. Vitamin E increases hypocretin-specific fragments that bind to DQB1*602, leading to the hypothesis that autoimmunity may arise in genetically susceptible individuals,[11] but there is no clinical data to support this hypothesis yet.

References

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12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 2:58pm
Adjuvants also increase the frequency of guillain barre syndrome, but as that is an over-reaction of the immune system, it becomes vanishingly rare as you age.

This is a tightrope. Too little reaction and the flu can still kill you, too much and the vaccine itself could be fatal. The high wire we walk moves as we age. The older the person being vaccinated the greater the risk from the flu itself, the younger the person, the greater the risk from the vaccine; although even in very small children, the flu kills many thousands of times as many as the vaccine.

FluMom has had repeated bouts of pneumonia post-flu. That suggests a tightrope far over to the weaker immune reaction side. This means that FOR HER SPECIFICALLY the microscopic risk of guillain barre and its commoner milder cousins is even more minute. Therefore in her shoes, I would get one flu shot as early in the season as I could and the other weeks later (the time delay also reduces the over-reaction risk). It is a numbers game and there is no 100% safe choice for any of us. Something will kill us all some day. But, to me, that looks like the least risky course.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: carbon20
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 3:53pm
Life's a gamble.....



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12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 4:37pm
Exactly!

But let's count cards and weigh the odds.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 4:45pm
I may have made up my own mind, but everyone else has to do so themselves, so I will keep posting additional data and opinion pieces.

Here is the latest. I should have posted it hours ago, but my internet died. Anyway it's here:

New flu vaccine fails to protect the elderly from strain that killed thousands, health officials admit



The new flu jab will leave pensioners unprotected against the so-called Japanese flu that claimed thousands of lives last winter, health officials have said.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed on Tuesday night that the latest vaccine will offer no direct protection against the B/Yamagata strain, thought to have been responsible for six in 10 ­influenza-related hospital admissions in January.

A jab that does protect against the strain will be available to those under the age of 65, the agency announced. It is not, however, considered useful for pensioners as it lacks the "adjuvanted" booster needed to prompt an immune response in older people.

Instead, they will be offered an adjuvanted vaccine that works against H2N2 "Aussie" flu, H1N1 "swine" flu and a different "Brisbane" strain of flu B.

"Decisions about who gets what all come down to cost and economics, rather than any great scientific understanding"Professor Jonathan Ball, Nottingham University

PHE acknowledged that offering people over 65 a boosted trivalent jab was not ideal, but better than a non-boosted vaccine protecting against the Yamagata strain.

"We'd much prefer to have a quadrivalent adjuvanted vaccine, but we don't have it this year," said Professor Paul Cosford, the organisation's medical director.

The announcement follows the worst flu season for seven years, which saw 15,000 deaths related to the disease last winter. The average number of related deaths is 8,000.

Health planners were caught off-guard by the presence of two concurrent B strains of flu, coupled with the poor performance of the non-boosted trivalent vaccine in older people.

Health leaders faced criticism on Tuesday night as it emerged that a better jab might have been available sooner, but for licensing issues.

Prof Jonathan Ball, an expert in molecular biology at Nottingham University, said: "The adjuvanted vaccine was licensed in lots of other countries way before last year. Decisions about who gets what all come down to cost and economics, rather than any great scientific understanding."

PHE said it expects the new jab will prevent more than 700 flu-related hospital deaths, 2,000 hospitalisations and 30,000 GP appointments.

Analysts believe that roughly one third of the ­extra pressure piled on A&E systems last winter was due to the high rates of flu.

Protect yourself and your family by learning more about Global Health Security

Source:    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/12/vaccine-fails-protect-elderly-killer-flu/" rel="nofollow - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/09/12/vaccine-fails-protect-elderly-killer-flu/

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: FluMom
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 4:46pm
Techno, thanks for your comment, I just got the Quad shot today! I am going to get the new Pneumonia shot after the first of October. LOL, I had a time getting the correct shot. The poor lady filling out the paper work had not an idea of what shot was what for the flu. She had me taking the High Dose then something that was not the Quad. At least the Pharmacist heard me and made sure I got the right flu shot. Nice guy.

I just don't want to take a chance on the Tri because the more variants the better in my way of thinking. My Doc does not seem to think the High Dose is any better for us older people so I am glad I took the Quad.



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Always Be Prepared


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: September 12 2018 at 4:49pm
Always welcome, FluMom!   

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: October 08 2018 at 5:09am
I promised to tell you all what our local GP surgery did this year.

When they are not worried about the circulating strains I can't get a free jab.
In a "normal" year I have to beg for one.
In a year when the stuff going round worries them they offer it to me.

They just phoned me and offered hubby and I a free jab - I did not have to beg.

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.


Posted By: Technophobe
Date Posted: October 15 2018 at 1:37pm
'And, just in case that did not persuade you, imagine how these parents feel.

Unvaccinated child from Florida becomes first death of the flu season
CBS News October 15, 2018, 12:53 PM



A child in Florida has become the first person to die of the flu this season, according to state health officials. State epidemiologists say the child had not been vaccinated and was otherwise healthy before getting sick with the flu.

The child, who tested positive for influenza B, died sometime during the week of Sept. 30, although privacy concerns prevent officials from saying exactly where, CBS affiliate WTSP reports.

Last flu season, 183 children in the U.S. died from flu or flu-related causes. That's the most since the CDC began keeping these records in 2004. Overall, an estimated 80,000 Americans died from flu last season.

CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula says this latest news should be a wake-up call to parents to get their children vaccinated.

"What this is a strong clear message to parents about the importance of vaccination," she told "CBS This Morning." "This vaccine is safe. It is the most effective tool we have. And we know of the pediatric deaths last year, 80 percent were in kids who were unvaccinated."

    8 common myths about cold and flu debunked

A new survey suggests that many children may not be getting the potentially life-saving flu shot because of their parents' misconceptions about the safety and importance of vaccines.

The survey by Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital found:

    More than half of parents think that their child can get the flu from the flu shot.
    30 percent of parents feel flu vaccines are a conspiracy.
    28 percent of parents believe flu vaccines can cause autism.

"None of these things are true. It's important that we deal with the science and the facts," Narula said.

The CDC recommends everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu every year.

"Officials have said it's like wearing a seat belt," Narula said. "This is really a no-brainer for parents."

Source:    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unvaccinated-child-from-florida-first-death-flu-season/" rel="nofollow - https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unvaccinated-child-from-florida-first-death-flu-season/

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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.



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