A three-year-old girl in the U.K. was checked into the hospital when, over Christmas, a bad cough turned into a terrible fever. Two days later, Lana Ameen was dead from swine flu.
Ameen’s mother, Gemma, believes her daughter’s general good health is what wound up bringing about her death. NHS, the U.K.’s national health agency, only offers the free vaccines to high-risk populations — babies six months and under, the elderly, the chronically ill and pregnant women. Daughter Lana didn’t qualify, and so, despite a known resurgence in cases of the swine flu in the U.K., the girl hadn’t been protected against it.
In fact, swine flu wasn’t suspected after the girl initially went to the hospital with a high fever. She was treated there for an infection and then sent back home. After spending a nice Christmas Day at home, Lana fell ill again and was taken by ambulance back to the hospital. Emergency medical workers spent three hours trying to revive her, but ultimately, she fell into a coma and perished.
Lana’s mom is now urging all parents to spend the money and get the vaccine from a private distributor. She’s also criticizing the government for ignoring countless reports that perfectly healthy people have died from the flu worldwide.
When swine flu first became the serious pandemic last year, I remember standing in line with my kids, unable to get the shot for me or my older-than-six-months son. Our doctor told us the vaccines were on serious back-order, too, so I couldn’t even go that route. Luckily, a couple of months later, county flu clinics popped up offering the vaccine to anyone who needed one, and all of us were protected.
Swine flu isn’t really in the headlines anymore, possibly because health agencies across the U.S. were finally able to overcome shortages and lack of planning and bring the vaccine (for free) t0 the masses.
I wonder if the NHS will rethink its position on who should get the vaccine, open up the gates and let everyone get the jab.