VACCINATIONS: Although I always have an... - British Lung Foun...

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Although I always have an annual flu jab my consultant requested my doctor give me another pneumonia jab and a HIB jab. Although I have bronchiectasis I understood the pneumonia jab was a one off. I had it 10 years ago. Also has anyone on the Forum had a HIB jab and what is it for? The nurse mentioned it included meningitis and usually given to babies. As she was already well behind with time there was no time left to ask any questions. I'm hoping some of you can explain what it all means. Thanks.


75 Replies

I have CLL and asked about pneumonia jabs. Was told not to have that, just flu jab. Hope Covid19 jabs will be ok for us immune challenged bods. Stay safe xx

Yes, we are all hoping the Covid jab will be available to us sooner rather than later. With our lung problems we should be.Are you still feeling well?

I have bronch. Had a pneumonia jab about 10 yrs ago. I asked about boosting it and the nurse showed me her file which says only one needed unless a person has kidney problems. Drs seem to have differing ideas on this. I still caught a community aquired pneumonia in 2015 because it doesn't cover all strains. I also had the HIB vaccine. It is to protect against haemophilus influenzae which is one of the bugs which we bronchs get in our lungs. Interestingly I haven't had HI picked up since - but this could be because bully boy pseudomonas took over its breeding ground 😅

Thanks Littlepom I just knew I could rely on you for answers. I'm surprised they wouldn't give you the booster pneumonia vaccine, in view of your condition. I think you should ask again just to be on the safe side. Interestingly, when I first had a phonecall from the surgery saying my consultant had requested these I attended the appointment but was told by the nurse I didn't need them as I had had it previously. I then had another phonecall to come in again as I should have had it. I said to check as I didn't want to make another wasted journey yet again. When I asked what had made them change their mind I was told it was a mistake and should have been given the first time. Anyway, I've had them all now and both arms are very painful after the vaccinations. How are you feeling these days? I always look out for any posts you make but haven't seen any recently.

I am due to speak to my consultant so will ask her if I need the pneumonia. If she writes to them they will give it to me. I am well thankyou. Chest tootling along because I haven't been near anybody's germs. Signed up to a nice gentle standing pilates course and like everybody else, having glum moments because I can't go to Southampton to see 4 of my grandchildren. I hope that you are staying well and managing to keep your spirits up.

Oh good, I'm glad you will be speaking to your consultant soon and feel sure she/he will recommend you have it.I feel quite well but miss social contact, my WI and other Groups.. I walk each week with friends but living alone can be very lonely at times. I fill my time as best I can and speak to family members over Skype and do my own shopping once a week. Like you I do a pilates class on line. At least we are making the best of things. Let's hope the new COVID vaccination will allow you to see your grandchildren fairly soon. You must miss them dearly. Nice to have a chat. Let me know what your consultant decides.

Cheers, Chrys

I will xx

shouty in reply to RoadRunner44

Please have the HIB one. I had undiagnosed Haemophilis for months & it was after that I was diagnosed as Bronchiectasis. It is a nasty, nasty little bug & colonized my lungs. Saying all that touch wood have not had any bad chest infections for a whole year & it feels great. All the best to you. Stay safe Best wishes Hattie

RoadRunner44 in reply to shouty

Thanks for replying shouty. I've had them all now including the Hib. I'm glad I posted my question as I've learnt a lot about these vaccines which I understand better now.I was a bit confused and things weren't explained to me. What symptoms did you have and how did you come to be diagnosed with haemophilus? Was it a blood test or scan?

shouty in reply to RoadRunner44

Initially sputum sample then sent to hospital for chest x-ray which showed nodules ( small & benign) then refered to Respiratory team for CT scan which then diagnosed as Bronchiectasis. Very lucky in Devon & they even have specialist B'sis Nurses. The Haemophilis bug was tough. Constant pain in lower chest & back felt like Pleurisy. Horrendous sticky mucus & general flu like feeling. I knew it wasn't a normal chest infection. Just a bloody shame it was too late & the damage had been done

RoadRunner44 in reply to shouty

Hi again, Well you certainly had a difficult time with the Haemophilus bug. How are you now? Are you treated for your bronchiectasis?

shouty in reply to RoadRunner44

Pleased to say this year so far no chest infections 😊 I take Carbocisteine tablets daily & mucus is easy to clear. Also over winter months I take prophylactic antibiotics 3 × a week Doxycycline. If I get infections with very sticky gunge I have a nebulizer box given to me by the B'sis nurse so I could do nebulizer isotonic saline. Again have not needed those at all this year so far. Also on standby I keep my rescue pack of antibiotics called Clarithromycin. Used to take Co Amoxiclav but did have a bad case of the diarrhoea the last time I had it, not an allergy as such but damn unpleasant when you feeling yuck already. Has the flu jab & pneumonia jab last year.

So all in all am very lucky in that it's all manageable.

The ironic thing is that I used to be a nurse working in Birmingham on a .... Yep a Respiratory ward dealing especially with B'sis patients. I have to smile at that.

As LittlePom so rightly says you need a B'sis specialist as most Drs only get brief training on this & if not careful folks tend to be clumped together under the COPD umbrella or as it used to be called COAD as in A for Airways. Things have come on since then but the patient always knows their body the best and if you can be proactive in your treatment instead of reactive so much the better 😁

Gladwyn in reply to shouty

Hi Shouty,I’m glad you’ve got everything under control. I notice you are taking Doxycycline and wondered if you have any tips on how to take it as it always makes me vomit 30 mins after swallowing it so I’ve been avoiding it like the plague lol and sticking with Amoxycillin.

All the best 🦋🥴xx

shouty in reply to Gladwyn

Sorry to hear it upsets you. It made me very nauseous to start with but now I line my stomach with piece of bread or milk before taking it then sit quietly for an hour as upright as possible then eat a little more. I used to have Co Amoxiclav for rescue antibiotics and fine on those for ages but one time it gave me awful diarrhoea so switched to Clarithromycin if nasty infection strikes. Do hope you are keeping well at the moment

Gladwyn in reply to shouty

Thank you for that info. I’ve made a note to remind myself next time it’s suggested I take it, I can try it with confidence lol.

Thanks I’m ok. I had a bug that’s about cleared up now. 🦋🥴

shouty in reply to Gladwyn

Glad i could be of help 😁

Gladwyn in reply to shouty


Hi RR - I had a pneumonia jab when I was diagnosed, actually the next year which was 2001. I was told it was a one-off. Then in 2018 I was hospitalised twice with severe pneumonia and after the second time I was offered another one.

As LP says, doctors seem to differ in their understanding. More lately Ive heard that the pneumonia jabs last about 10 years. So maybe the one-off thing came about because they dont expect us to live longer than ten years?! But as we know here, people can live way past that.

RoadRunner44 in reply to O2Trees

I agree its a bit puzzling as there definitely seems to be a difference in how vaccinationt is perceived amongst the medical profession. It doesn't inspire confidence though.Are you keeping well? I'm a bit fed up at times but have to make the best of things like everyone else.


O2Trees in reply to RoadRunner44

Im ok thanks RR, just fed up too, like you and everyone. Guess it will pass, just when ?! Take care :)

HelloAnother complication is how we react to it. People with immune problems often make few antibodies to the pneumonia vaccine, but you only know that if you have it whilst being tracked by an immunologist.

So for me the pneumonia jab, which I have had, is irrelevant and useless. But a flu jab can still be effective because it has a different structure.

It depends on the vaccine and the person.

It’s not an exact science as we are all different!

Best wishes

Alberta56 in reply to O2Trees

Hi O2Trees, I was given a pneumonia jab years ago when I only had mild asthma and told it would last for ever.

Thanks for your reply Alberta, I had assumed it was a one off too but obviously things have changed enormously over the years.

Hi there

I was given my original pneumonia injection on the understanding to be renewed after 10 years, and when I caught another strain of pneumonia was informed I was unfortunate this version wouldn’t have been protected by jab. Having said that the hospital still advised to definitely be renewed when due.

Time arrived and theory had been updated that it would last lifetime not just 10 years. So for several years I simply haven’t fulfilled the criteria for a booster as still have my spleen and kidneys etc. Criteria seems to change annually.

This February my doctor intervened and insisted I had the new Pneumonia jab so I’ve now had the newer lifetime version which I’m pleased to say does actually cover additional strains to the original version, so keeping fingers crossed this helps resistance and I don’t find another one out there on my rare trips out thats not covered. X

Hi, Thats interesting. So there's a newer pneumonia jab thats supposed to last a lifetime. assume that must be the one I had then. That's good news and good that your doctor insisted you had it too.Keep well.


Think it has been out a while RoadRunner44.

The original 10yr vac was 13 strains and current lifetime immunisation is now against 23. 🤙

Gosh, you are very knowledgeable. Thanks for the information.

Oops lost my reply somewhere in the universe🤣.

This info only gained as I happened to ask the Nurse.

With my jab in February and now taking high strength Vitamin D keeping fingers crossed I’ve done my best this year, that’s for sure.

Good for you and keep it up as whatever you are doing is working. Vitamin D is also making a name for itself. I take it but its pot luck as I never know if its the right strength. I'm taking.

How much Vitamin D do you take MMB? I take 3000iu and hoping that is a good amount.

RoadRunner44 in reply to O2Trees

I use a spray, one squirt plus a multivitamin with iron. Do you think this is enough?

O2Trees in reply to RoadRunner44

Cant sayif it's enough without knowing how much is in the spray dosage - it will probably say on the package. I cant take iron at all as I have a hereditary iron overload condition.

But Im not an arbiter of the correct dose Chrys. There are many different recommendations depending on what you are reading. The standard RDA is generally considered far too low - I think its around 500iu, way below the amounts I see recommended.

RoadRunner44 in reply to O2Trees

Fortunately doctors have now realised the benefits of Vitamin D. I think there will be many people taking it but not realise if its the right doseage. Hopefully this will also be taken on board by the medical profession and further guidelines published.Thanks for your input, its much appreciated.

I started on 1000 for about 6 weeks, but then increased to high strength of 4000 a few weeks ago.

Had a well overdue blood test this week and requested Vit D levels be included in my full blood test results when I ring, as dropped quite low a few years ago.

Hopefully I’ve boosted it sufficiently and Doc will officially tell me what to continue with next week.

Hi, Did your doctor arrange initial bloodtests and found you were deficient in Vitamin D? I ask as I am unsure if I am deficient but still take it. It would be useful to have some better guidelines on dosage now that the medical profession recognise the value of this vitamin and recommend we all take it.I've learnt a lot about vaccinations since I posted my question. Thanks for your input.


I had a test some years ago, and they put me on meds but never really followed it up with new doctor and so many other health issues to worry about.

It was one of the videos of Dr John Campbell that reminded me, and thought hey ho get some in me to be on the safe side.

I’m hoping the latest blood test will t least give me a better indication to my current levels.

Stay safe. X

Yes, I find that too. We have to be proactive to look after ourselves.

JoM49 in reply to O2Trees

My GP prescribed 400iu chewable Vitamin D twice a day a few months ago and has made a great improvement to how I feel.

RoadRunner44 in reply to JoM49

There's no doubt that Vitamin D makes a difference. Thanks for your reply.

Hi RoadRunner,I think it all depends on how your GP sees it, they don't all think the same. I had one 15 years ago and another 3 years ago, can refuse it I suppose, but with dodgy lungs I would take it....👍🏾🥰

Oh I did have it Gingerapple. Have you had this other vaccination called HIB. Only Little Pom has had it according to the replies so far. I only had the pneumonia vaccination because my consultant insisted. Her letter requested it but at first the nurse said it was a mistake and I didn't need it. I'd like to know how they finally decided to go with the consultants request though. It does seem confusing though in view of what others here on the Forum say . I think Its important that we are all pro active as it appears there is a lot of inconsistancies in approach.Thanks for replying.


Oh sorry Chrys, I read that wring or forgot what I had read, well....forgetful and age😳😉😁

No, I've never heard of the HIB but I will research it. Have a lovely weekend 🤗🥰👍🏾💐

I understand perfectly. I've been there too!

Hi RoadRunner,

I had a pneumonia vac in the past but had a reaction (what’s new for me) and so doc advised not to have another.

Re the HIB vac. My consultant referred me to an immunologist. The one before him gave it to most people where HI was a problem. However, the new one didn’t. He said the vac they give to children is Type B and the HI we grow is Non Type. Saying that I know people who have had it who no longer get HI but then neither do I now as pseudo likes to be leader of the pack! So ass with most experts, who knows!


Thats useful information to have cof. So as my consultant reported that my immune system was low perhaps the blood tests showed I had HI. So I assume that's why I had the HIB vaccination too. I wish they would explain things to the patient involved. So grateful for your reply. Thanks.Do take care.

Hi Roadrunner44 . I had pneumonia jab some years ago I remember one of my doctors saying it would last 10 years. Then some time later another doctor saying 5 years. Bit confusing! I think you should speak to your doctor and ask him or her to clarify also ask why the HIB jab. You have reminded me that my 10 years is now up so I now need to speak to my doctor. 😊

Don`t know about HIB, but wife has pneumonia jab every 5 years, in addition to annual flu jab.

Policy regarding vaccinations seem to vary from area to area, I've acquired so much useful information from the replies. Thank you too, I'm very grateful.

Hi everyone, hope you are all keeping the chin up.. Here in Ireland if you are under 65 you get the pneumonia vaccine every 5 yrs (23 strains) over 65 I think you just get it once. Also if you have underlying health/lung conditions your consultant may also advice you to get the children's one aswell(13 strains) now that is what my consultant told me at the clinic but like everything eles it could change depending where you live if you ask me... Keep strong everyone there is light at the end of the tunnel. Take care.

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patty24

Thanks for replying. It is obvious from all the replies that every part of the UK can vary regarding vaccination. I'm surprised as to how much it varies. Very grateful for the information I have acquired though,

Hi RRI’ve had both twice. I think I originally had them when diagnosed with Bronchiectasis and again less than 5 years later when I first went to immunology. They tested me for literally everything at the time so I guess it was decided I didn’t have immunity to them. A year later I was in hospital with pneumonia so it clearly didn’t help much. I haven’t, as far as I am aware, had HI since but like Cof pseudomonas is top dog in my lungs. I hope they help you. X

Hi all I had the HIB vaccine just last week. I have asthma which is very well controlled but I’m always given the flu jab each year and had the pneumonia one about 10 years ago (which I was told was just a one off).

About 3 years ago now I had a really bad chest infection around Christmas and was left with a terrible hacking cough and produced loads of nasty phlegm ☹️

So for the next 2 years I had several flare ups of this same infection, average every 7-8 weeks or so. I later found out that in each phlegm sample there was a bacteria called Moraxella. The GP surgery questioned whether I was actually asthmatic and whether I was taking my inhalers properly (I’m 43 and have been asthmatic since I was 17, so I’d hope that I’ve learnt how to use inhalers). So I was sent to a respiratory consultant, blood tests and for the reversibility test, doctor put me onto Azithromycin to see what happened and since then I had no more problems. He then took me off of it in January to see what happened and I had an almighty infection was off work for nearly 2 weeks because it all went up into my sinuses. I was also rushed into hospital because another GP thought I might have an inter cranial bleed, but I think he was covering his arse because the A&E doctor wasn’t concerned in the slightest and I have no different tests to what the GP had done!

I saw a different consultant in October who went through my blood test results and told me I had 3 allergies (which I never knew about), one of them being cats and I’ve had a cat all my life! She also told me that my immune system was really low and that I should have this HIB vaccine to try to boost my immunity against nasty bacteria. My blood tests would have to be repeated six weeks after the vaccine to see if it has made a difference.

So after that long story, I’m hoping that in January when the results come back that it has helped me.

I hope that might’ve helped a little bit RoadRunner.

It certainly has helped and I'm very grateful. I also understand now why the nurse asked me to contact my consultant to see if she required any further blood tests. From your post its obvious its to check the HIB has worked. Thanks.

Yeah that’ll explain that, apparently the blood tests have to be done 6 weeks after the vaccine. You’re more than welcome, I wish you well 😊

I have the double pneumonia shot every 5 years, the recommended medical dose. Recent medical research now leans towards having it every 2 years if the patient is immune compromised. In my case with autoimmune diseases as well as lung disease being protected is extremely important. The annual flu shot is, of course, a must. Read learned documents of not only this website but also Mayo, John Hopkins and CofE in Pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic conditions. Knowledge is power.

I'm learning a great deal from you all. Many thanks.

Hi roadrunner44I have had a few pneumonia jabs. My antibody levels are normally tested first. When they drop below a certain level then I have to have another one. The last adult pneumonia vaccination didn’t bring my levels up (ineffective) which meant I had to have the paediatric one. I’ve not had the HIB. My resident bug used to be stenotrophanomous although that hasn’t reoccurred since I retired 😃

As most of us on here, I can’t wait until a vaccine is available

RoadRunner44 in reply to Jandm

I am feeling so much easier in my mind after reading all the replies. In fact it is obvious that opinion and treatment varies from the medical profession. I'm so glad I posted my concerns on here. Thanks again.

Jandm in reply to RoadRunner44

This forum is fabulous for advice and a comfort for many. I was originally on the asthma forum and somehow during a very hypoxic time I managed to end up on this one! But I’m so glad I did, although I never actually introduced myself during my muddle up 😂 but it’s all good as I have bronchiectasis and TBM as well

RoadRunner44 in reply to Jandm

Pleased to meet you Jandm, better late than never. What is TBM?

Jandm in reply to RoadRunner44

Tracheobronchomalacia Happy to meet you too 😊

RoadRunner44 in reply to Jandm


Jandm in reply to RoadRunner44

I got the hat trick with my eosinophilic asthma. It’s a juggling act....I should have joined the circus 🤡

RoadRunner44 in reply to Jandm

At least you haven't lost your sense of humour considering everything you have to deal with.Cheers

Ive had them bith hib prevents haemophillus influenzae infections,which i kept stopped that and no adverse effects.pneumonae is a 1 off,but ive had it4x ( set of 2 jabs 1mth apart). No ill effects at all.personLly,id have them as we bronchiectasis sufferers r prown to nasty infections

RoadRunner44 in reply to Patk1

Thanks for replying Patk1. I've learnt a lot since my original post.

My lungs and heart are not great now got even more problems with my lungs needles are my thing hate them and they have a hell of a job trying to get blood now Never had the flu jab and won't

Looks like I am going to say no to covid as well dont believe its safe yet to have

or how long its going to work in the body

Its going to be a case of doing whats right for you

RoadRunner44 in reply to Yousaok

Why won't you have the flu vaccination? Have you had a previous reaction?

I had to have another pneumonia jab,HIB and other vaccines that I had years ago as my blood test indicated that my immunity was low after an infection.

The Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine, often called Hib vaccine, is a vaccine used to prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) infection.[2] In countries that include it as a routine vaccine, rates of severe Hib infections have decreased more than 90%.[2] It has therefore resulted in a decrease in the rate of meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottitis.[2]

Thanks for your reply Chrisko and clearly put answer.It is becoming apparent that the Hib vaccination isn't given to everyone. even though they have lung conditions. I would have expected most of us lunges would have it for added protection. Is this because its an expensive vaccination perhaps?

I think it’s mostly given to people who have lowered immunity and/or who are more at risk of HIB infections I.e. with bronchiectasis .

I had both of these vaccinations earlier this year as I have been diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Both were in short supply. I was told that the pneumonia one should last a few years, time not specific, and that it is not guaranteed to stop me getting pneumonia as there are different types, but it would help with recovery if I got it. The HIB I was told is usually given to infants, for meningitis, and it was then followed by a blood test 4weeks later to check on my immune system. The results took nearly 4 months to come back not only because of Covid but it is a special test and it had to be sent away. Hope this helps.

Thanks for replying. So the blood test has to be sent away. Yet another piece of valuable information to add to the list. I've always felt it important to gather as much information about our medical conditions and to be as pro active as possible, including , treatments and now vaccinations.

The sending away of the blood test could be a ‘postcode’ thing as the more information I read on these sites, the more I notice a huge difference in treatments in areas and countries.

Thank you.

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