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Ask the doctor: is my mother too vintage for the flu vaccine? Dr. Martin Scurr answers

My 89-year-old mom has dementia and i’m wondering if this, as well as her age, makes the flu vaccine inadvisable. Could the flu vaccine itself make her ill?

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Name and cope with supplied.

To start with, it’s a fable that the flu vaccine can make you unwell. I urge your mother to have the jab.

Without it, the influenza virus may be fatal, with complications leading to demise maximum commonplace inside the frail elderly and those weakened via different conditions.

The need for vaccination is specially pressing this iciness following a major outbreak in Australia affecting 170,000 humans. Extra than double the everyday variety — and where a pronounced 72 humans have died. We are forewarned with the aid of them enjoy as the virus spreads throughout the globe to the northern hemisphere as we enter winter.

A number of misconceptions surrounding the flu vaccine have brought about worries about its protection and whether or not it’s miles suitable for everyone. The primary is that the flu vaccine carries strains of the flu. This is correct however, crucially, these traces of the virus are dead and do not, as a few trust, cause contamination.


While these are injected, the immune system examines the chemistry of these viruses and makes immune proteins known as antibodies that deliver a degree of protection against any incoming viruses of the identical kind.

As part of this immune response there may be a few different symptoms inclusive of slight fever and sore muscle tissues, but those ought to resolve within a day or.

The second one mistake human beings make is difficult ordinary viral signs and symptoms with the ones of flu. The vaccine is given at the very time of year while many kinds of respiration virus are circulating.

Therefore, the chance of receiving a flu vaccine and then becoming sick from one of those viruses. Which in lots of cases cause similar symptoms to influenza, albeit less severely — is not unusual.


Similarly, if anyone in the early tiers of influenza sneezes near me and that i inhale the virus, I can begin to incubate it. If I finally have a vaccine but come to be sick rapidly afterwards, I will blame the vaccine, forgetting that prior exposure to the flu.

But the vaccine does not purpose flu. Facet-outcomes and headaches are restrained to the injection website online where you could get temporary pain or aching, or capacity allergy to additives of the vaccine.

This includes traces of egg protein and of antibiotics along with neomycin or gentamicin. That’s why the most effective corporations that ought to avoid the vaccine are those with allergic reactions to those components.

The vaccine must accept first and primary to frail individuals, along with your mom, but I might encourage anybody to get vaccinated — mainly in case you are in an at-threat institution.

NHS tips suggest the vaccine for absolutely everyone over 65, pregnant women, humans with chronic illnesses inclusive of diabetes and asthma, in addition to the ones working in healthcare.

I’ve already had my flu vaccine this yr, as i do every year.

The excellent evidence I’ve visible that these injections, usually given in october, are effective. Changed into research posted within the prestigious new england magazine of drugs. Seven thousand volunteers were given the flu vaccine or a placebo and monitored for 3 months. The institution receiving the vaccine took 40 in step with cent fewer days off work in that length.

In quick, the vaccine is our high-quality deface in opposition to flu and it is not dangerous for your mother to have it.


My adult daughter has rheumatoid arthritis and has been prescribed teriparatide injections to make her bones develop. Can you inform me approximately this, as i didn’t realize bones should develop as you acquire older?

E. Thomas, Barry, wales.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a continual inflammatory disorder caused by the immune machine attacking the joints and other organs.

Your query approximately your daughter’s bones ‘growing’ relates to the impact RA will have beyond the joints themselves. Bone is a living, dynamic tissue — with cells called osteoclasts breaking down antique bone and osteoblasts making new bone. If this stability is disrupted because of age, loss of estrogen or loss of weight-bearing exercise, it can result in osteoporosis-weakened bones.

Almost each person with RA will lose bone, each because of the state of being inactive imposed by severe joint ache and the inflammatory system itself. On top of that, many people with extreme RA may be taking steroids as a part of their treatment. It might be anti-inflammatory however which similarly increase the threat of bone loss and osteoporosis.

To save you this, sufferers are prescribed teriparatide injections day by day —this is the treatment your daughter is having.

It is the handiest remedy that works via stimulating bone formation; all different treatments work with the aid of decreasing bone reabsorption. It is but, highly-priced, costing greater than £500 a month, and is consequently reserved for best the most excessive instances of osteoporosis.

Forsteo is a synthetic form of parathyroid hormone, a natural hormone released from the parathyroid glands within the neck that has a pivotal function in calcium metabolism. Bone is a ‘calcium bank’ for the body, and parathyroid hormone allows activate the osteoclasts to extract calcium from these shops while the quantity circulating in the blood is just too low. Forsteo also stimulates the osteoblasts to build bone.

I very tons’ desire that the treatment your daughter has prescribed, such as methotrexate you point out for your letter. Which enables reduce the immune gadget’s assault on the bones. Will have decreased the risk of bone loss and pushed the RA into remission, and that an excellent great of life has been restored.


By using the manner . . . Calling youngsters obese will shop lives

It’s far hard speak me to the parents of obese youngsters about their size, now not least because all too regularly they, too, are obese, and not anything is received if the dialogue looks like an attack on them.

But that doesn’t mean we ought to keep away from confronting hard or painful problems. This week public health England has issued new guidance advising healthcare experts to keep away from the use of the time period overweight. Whilst speaking to parents: as an alternative, docs and nurses ought to speak approximately the significance of a ‘healthier lifestyle’.

Once I heard this it had a harmful impact on my health and well being, as my blood pressure soared. If the usage of the phrase obese hurts emotions, it’s because it opens a conversation into a deadly serious concern. And making deviations into mild public health England-derived terminology is infrequently likely to help.

Imagine the situation: ‘I went to peer the nurse today about Mimi being so out of breath on the stairs. And after she weighed her the nurse instructed me that Mimi desires to reap healthier weight reputation, so that’s ok then’. This achieves not anything.

The only recommendations that ones folks being concerned for patients need are enshrined in the 4 pillars of clinical ethics. Autonomy — allow patients, once knowledgeable, to do as they determine, it’s far their obligation. Beneficence: be type but supply all of the relevant records, with immediately-speak me. Non-maleficence: do no longer be nasty approximately it — keep away from being accusatory. Justice: truthful, however tell them how it’s far and endorse approximately all to had recommended assets that is probably helpful.

Weight problems is in which a person is so fats it will have a bad impact on their health. Your overweight while you are 20 consistent with cent heavier than you must be. England is properly privy to the fact that surprising of children among the ages of and 15 are overweight. Doubling their danger of an early dying and giving them a seven instances more risk of type 2 diabetes.

Beating about bush to let human beings off gently and permit them to keep away from the truth is unethical and downright irresponsible. What’s public health England up to?

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