Hi folks, it's that time of year when we have to start thinking about flu jabs and the government have issued their vaccination advice (see the links below).
The general advice is that immunosuppressed people should have the flu jab unless you are allergic to it. However, please talk to your GP and/or consultant if you have any concerns about flu vaccinations.
Note that according to the government's figures, immunocompromised people are one of the highest "at risk" groups should they contract the flu. If you also have diabetes, respiratory, heart or kidney problems then the risk is even higher. Being vaccinated doesn't guarantee you won't catch the flu but it will reduce your chances and may mean you have a more mild episode.
All flu vaccines except one (Fluenz Tetra) contain the inactivated (dead) flu virus and are safe for us to have.
However Fluenz Tetra (a nasal spray vaccine) contains a live, attenuated (weakened) virus. This is normally given to children since it is more effective for them. But it should *not* be given to children who are immunosuppressed, although they can still have the inactivated jab.
There is also some concern that children who have been given the nasal spray may expose immunocompromised family members to flu for 1-2 weeks after vaccination. The main risk appears to be for severely immunocompromised people but I'd suggest you discuss this with your GP or consultant if you think it might affect you.
The links below are for the government's advice around flu jabs, a detailed list of the vaccines being used this year and the "green book" information for doctors and other health professionals.