Mum slams health measures after daughter is refused vaccine

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A GRIEVING mum, whose 15-month-old daughter died after catching swine flu, fears for the life of her new baby after she was refused a jab.

Tia Billman, of Union Street West, Stowmarket, is still reeling from the loss of her daughter Ruby, who suffered from a rare chromosome deficiency and died months after contracting the bug.

She says her vulnerable daughter was never given a vaccine and is terrified her nine-month-old daughter Macey could fall victim to the killer disease.

However, Miss Billman, 21, has been told by doctors that Macey cannot have the jab because she is not considered part of the ‘at risk’ group.

Those eligible for the vaccination include anyone aged between six months and 65-years-old who suffer from heart, chest diseases or diabetes.

All people aged 65 and over and pregnant women qualify for the free annual seasonal flu vaccine.

Miss Billman has hit out at the measures arguing that all young children should receive the jab.

She said: “It’s absolutely disgusting.

“Other children are protected because some of them had it last year. All the doctors are allowed the jab.

“Why not spend all the money that people are paying to buy this jab on jabs for kids.

“If Macey were to catch it, I’m not sure show she would fight it.

“I’m extremely worried about her now.

“The doctor said it’s very unlikely she will get it, but with the number of swine flu victims around now you don’t know, do you?”

Her daughter Ruby, who had a weak immune system because of her condition and needed oxygen to breathe, died last March – three months after catching swine flu.

Miss Billman said her daughter was never given a vaccination for the bug.

She added: “I don’t know why she didn’t have the flu jab. It just didn’t happen.”

When asked about the current measures for flu vaccinations, Dr Brian Keeble, NHS Suffolk’s public health consultant, said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, the criteria for flu vaccinations are set nationally by the Department of Health following the recommendations of the national Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

“It is important that the focus remains on those people who are in at-risk groups, which includes pregnant women, over 65s and people with certain underlying health conditions.”