Reader: Mandatory Flu Jabs?


Reader's Letter 01I’m worried the Junta of Andalucia have made the influenza vaccination mandatory for those over 65 years of age this year.

My mother who is 86 years of age has never had influenza in her life nor the vaccine. In fact living in Spain for 13 years she has never had a cold!

Surely people should be given the choice as some research suggest not all vaccines are safe for all people.

A private neurologist we know was paralysed a few hours after having the influenza vaccination. She was in a wheelchair for two years and after much help, she now walks with a stick. She is in her forties.

I know it’s rare to be paralysed after the flu shot but it’s common for people to have fever, aches and pains and generally feel unwell after being vaccinated. I don’t want my mother to have those symptoms.


  6 comments for “Reader: Mandatory Flu Jabs?

  1. Richard Stephenson
    July 11, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    @Gordon – May I suggest that you read my original post for a third time. I make absolutely NO connection between having the flu vaccination and in any way protecting you or increasing the risk of catching COVID19. This is purely your own information. However, as a practicing GP I despair at the misinformation that many people believe, and this is reflected in your comments.

    I MUST correct you on your statement that following vaccination “you shed the disease for three weeks afterwards”. This is absolute nonsense that is peddled in the social media and is COMPLETELY factually inaccurate. Think about it, how could this statement stack up? So, based on your statement, if someone receives a polio vaccination, for example, they then go around “shedding the disease” for three weeks. So, why don’t we have cases of polio? The reason is that a vaccination is a nothing more than a TINY FRAGMENT of protein of a DEACTIVATED virus. It CANNOT cause the disease. Full stop! And you certainly DO NOT “shed the disease”. This is true of every single vaccine.

    One of the roles of a government is to protect the health of its citizens through vaccination programmes. Vaccinations such as those for MMR, polio, flu and so on have protected many people from catching serious diseases and in many, many cases, they have saved lives. As part of any vaccination programme, governments set targets. Once we reach around 60% of the population being vaccinated or have the immunity, then the disease struggles to spread i.e. herd immunity is achieved. Hence, the risk to the non-vaccinated people is greatly reduced. Hence, why the risk to non-vaccinated people is thus greatly reduced. This is nothing to do with “mental gymnastics”. Its medical fact. To your final point, yes, of course, a healthy diet helps fight disease but trust me, it is not what prevents spread of viruses. The main role of vitamin D is to regulate the level of phosphate and calcium in the body as oppose to developing immunity. Many healthy people have died throughout this and other pandemics and we have seen more deaths in the developed world than anywhere else e.g. USA and UK who have the worst records per million of population of any countries. This is not down to diet, but poor management of the situation by the respective governments.

    Finally, may I suggest that reading the Lancet, for example, rather than Facebook for current medical thinking, may help in your understanding of medical such as vaccination.

  2. Angus
    July 6, 2020 at 11:10 am


    For all readers who need reminding or have no knowledge of……

    The 1918 influenza pandemic, or commonly known as ” The Spanish Flu ” or ” The Deadliest Flu ”

    The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history. It was caused by an H1N1 virus with genes of avian origin. Although there is not universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919. In the United States, it was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older. The high mortality in healthy people, including those in the 20-40 year age group, was a unique feature of this pandemic. While the 1918 H1N1 virus has been synthesized and evaluated, the properties that made it so devastating are not well understood. With no vaccine to protect against influenza infection and no antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections that can be associated with influenza infections, control efforts worldwide were limited to non-pharmaceutical interventions such as isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.

    Since the 1918 influenza pandemic , the following have occurred

    1957-1958 Pandemic
    1968 Pandemic
    2009 H1N1 Pandemic

    Who would feel guilty if anyone deprived their elderly relatives of having a flu jab, and they subsequently died


  3. Gordon
    July 5, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    @Richard Stephenson. I have read your entire comment and it’s rather disturbing the ignorance on display. Italy has made the flu vaccine mandatory and it was one of the worst-hit areas in Europe. A number of virologists have said if you have the flu vaccine you are 30% more likely to catch COVID, as this virus is present in the flu vaccine. Those individuals not catching the flu has nothing to do with those around them having been vaccinated. When you receive a vaccine you shed the disease for about 3 weeks afterward, meaning you are actually spreading the disease. Almost everyone I know who receives the flu vaccine is ill afterward and gives the flu to those around them. Not catching a disease when everyone else around you has been vaccinated and are actually spreading the disease has more to do with health and diet. Vitamin D you get from the sun and is essential for proper immune function.

  4. Gordon
    July 5, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    @Richard Stephenson. No one should have to risk their health to protect someone else’s. Your answer resides wholely in guilt rather than ethics or science. If the vaccine protects an individual, how does someone who has refused it pose them any threat? Either the vaccine works or it doesn’t? I’m tired of the mental gymnastics on display from those who are for taking the vaccine for the sake of others.

  5. Richard Stephenson
    May 3, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    @Julie @Deborah – I wholehartedly agree with you that you can’t force people to have vaccinations. However, you must remember that vaccination is not just about protecting the individual but, as we have clearly seen, it is also (and in my opinion) more important to protect other members of the public becoming infected from you e.g. healthcare workers, babies that are yet to be immunised etc. Yes, @Julie your mother may not have ever been vaccinated against influenza and yet never cought it and that is probably thanks to the fact that most people around her would have been vaccinated and that is the reason why she did not catch it as they not spreading it. This is the “herd immunity” that we have been hearing about. So, a slightly selfish approach but you should really be thanking those that have taken the decision to be immunised for your mother not falling ill. Following on from the tragic events of the last few months, attitudes will need to change and no where more than in the tourism industry on which we are all so dependent. Hence, why, as part of the release from the lockdown, there is a distinct possibility that persons that have not been vaccinated for example against COVID-19 may not be allowed to travel on public transport such as planes.

  6. Deborah A Johnson
    April 23, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    You cannot force people, it is against your Human Rights and can/should be taken up with the EU Parliament. By law you have a choice. I shall refuse. What are they going to do; tie me down by force? Love to see that one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *