IN-DEPTH: Parents Pulling Children out of School Due to Nasal-Spray Flu Vaccine ‘Shedding Fears’


Parents have been taking their children out of school for a few days during mass vaccination drives rather than have them take a live AstraZeneca nasal vaccine which they claim causes “shedding.”

In England, parents have started to receive invites for the annual NHS influenza (flu) vaccination programme for children.

Parents, alternative health activists, PTFA members and doctors told The Epoch Times that there are some who are planning on taking their children out of school during these mass flu vaccination campaigns.

Some say they are concerned that children “shed” the virus for a few days after vaccination, leaving them and others exposed to the strains of virus contained within the vaccine, which they differentiate to viruses encountered in a more natural fashion.
Authorities say that the amount of virus shed is “normally below the levels needed to pass on infection to others and the virus does not survive for long outside of the body.”

The nasal flu vaccine used in the UK is an AstraZeneca product called Fluenz Tetra, known as FluMist in the United States, which contains live forms of flu virus to stimulate the immune system. It is given as a spray squirted up each nostril.

In 2012, authorities recommended that the UK’s National Vaccination Programme for influenza be extended to include healthy children and adolescents aged two to 17 years and done via general practice and school pilot programmes.

Though 2022 was the first season where all children aged two through to 16 years old were offered the vaccine through a school delivery model, the vaccination is not mandatory.

According to NHS data, around half (51.7 percent) of all school-aged children from Reception to Year 11 combined took it last year.
In September, Professor Kamila Hawthorne, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said that having “your child vaccinated against flu” will help “family doctors to protect their patients most effectively and ensure that NHS services are available for those who need them most over the coming months.”

She also said that: “Getting your child vaccinated not only keeps them safe but all your family members—particularly older grandparents and great-grandparents who may be vulnerable to the potentially dangerous complications of flu—and the wider population.”

Though some parents fear that vaccinated individuals “shed” the virus i.e. make people ill by being in contact with a recently vaccinated individual.

“My daughter has never been affected by shedding,” she said, but she believed that she herself had a “sudden onset of poor health” after being around those were were recently vaccinated at the school premises.

The Epoch Times has not been able to independently verify this claim.

Another parent, who did not want to be named, who had taken her children out of school to avoid Fluenz last year, told The Epoch Times that she would do so again.

She said that her major concern was that it has “shedding properties,” that it contains genetically modified organisms and that she as well as other parents were uneasy at this being done in schools.
One school PTFA (Parents, Teachers and Friends Association) member told The Epoch Times that 70 parents took their children out of the 650-capacity school last year.

“I don’t know how many the school will do the same this year. I don’t know if any of the new parents feel the same this year, it’s so controversial,” she said.

The government says that excluding children from school during the period when the vaccine is being offered, or in the following weeks, “is not necessary.”

It says that the only exception to this would be “the tiny number of children who are extremely immunocompromised (for example those who have just had a bone marrow transplant).”

Anna Watson, the founder of the Arnica Network told The Epoch Times that a major concern for parents is that their children may get vaccinated “in error” in schools.
The Arnica page has 45.4K members on Facebook, with many parents asking for advice on consent forms to avoid flu vaccination.

“They [schools]get the lists muddled up. So they list up the vaccinated groups to the not-to-be-vaccinated groups. They get muddled up with the names. So it’s not uncommon,” she added.

Currently, consent forms and information leaflets are used to seek parental or guardian consent and only children for whom consent has been received will be vaccinated.

“With Steiner schools, it used to be 50/50. So 50 percent of the children would be unvaccinated. With mainstream schools it tends to be a few percent,” she said.

“We’re still kind of quite a minority group,” she added.

Miss Watson said that they have had a lot more people interested in natural health since COVID-19.

“And so to see it done as an automatic policy for all children, then it might have made people think twice,” she added.

‘You Have To Be Given Alternatives’

Dr. Jayne Donegan a homeopathic and naturopathic practitioner who no longer practices as a medical doctor told The Epoch Times that there have “always been people who’ve been more informed about vaccines and other people have always been a bit more cautious about about whether they should have extra vaccines.”

Dr. Donegan has been researching disease ecology and vaccination since 1994 has highlighted the risks of child immunisation. The General Medical Council took her name off its register following a tribunal that concluded on July 5. Though she said at the time, she was “absolutely delighted to be struck off.”

She told The Epoch Times that yet another reason for removing your children from school on the days of the jabs is she has heard that teachers “make fun of children whose parents have said no to having a vaccine.”

“The other thing is that now once you’re about 11, you can consent yourself even if your parents have said no,” she added.

She noted the 2015 Supreme Court judgment in the Montgomery case, which established that a doctor must “take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments.”

“The major law Supreme Court in the case of Montgomery, not only said you have to be told all the all the adverse reactions that might happen, but you have to be given alternatives,” she said.

‘Marketing and Not Science’

Dr. Tom Jefferson, epidemiologist senior associate tutor at the University of Oxford in 2014 told the Guardian that “influenza vaccines are about marketing and not science.”

“We have few trials, and masses of very poor quality observational evidence. We have presented evidence of considerable reporting bias, which governments continue to ignore. The science is missing and so making an informed decision is very difficult.”

He said that there was The Cochrane review “does say that vaccination can protect children from influenza but there is not conclusive evidence that vaccinations reduce hospitalisations and deaths in children.”

When approached for an update on the latest review and his above views, Dr. Jefferson pointed The Epoch Times to the latest relevant Cochrane reviews which “have been stabilised.”

“We have reached a point where the evidence is not showing anything different to what it has done for a number of years,” it added.

A UKSHA spokesperson told The Epoch Times by email that the “evidence on the safety of the flu nasal spray for children is very strong and parents can be confident that getting their children immunised against flu is the best way to protect them.”

“Young children are more vulnerable and can become seriously ill from flu. Vaccinating children also helps stop the spread of flu to the wider community and others at high risk of serious illness,” he added.