We've seen a few posts recently about the annual flu jabs and given that some GPs seem to give out very limited information or confusing messages here is our take on the 2012-13 vaccination programme.
This year there are three vaccines that may be given to protect against flu.
Two are inactivated vaccines for injection and one is a nasal, live attenuated vaccine (sprayed into the nose).
The two inactivated vaccines that are injected are fine for immunocompromised patients such as us and indeed highly recommended. The mortality rates are higher for us than any other "at risk" group. Indeed if you also have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or lung problems then you are even more at risk.
The nasal (Fluenz) vaccine is being recommended for children from 2 to 17 years old. However it should not be given to immunocompromised children. Nor should it be given to children who are in contact with immunocompromised adults since as it's live it may be transferred. Children can be given an injection of the inactivated vaccine as an alternative but it is known to be less effective for young people.
Carers and others that live with immunocompromised patients are advised to be vaccinated too. However it appears to be up to the local GPs as to whether this will be a free vaccination or not.
Finally, if you are currently unwell or flaring then you should first check with your GP and/or consultant as to whether it is advisable to have the vaccine.