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Flu vaccine post transplant

Hello. I’ve posted on here a few times regarding my hubby who is now 8 months post SCT after treatment for ALL. He has been offered the flu vaccine by his doctors surgery. The Haematology team who are treating him at the Hallamshire have said his blood levels are good enough for him to have it. He is undecided what to do due to 2 previous (pre leukaemia) reactions to it. Can anyone offer any advice please? Many thanks Alison

Best Answers

  • Hi

    Thanks for posting, I am glad your husband is doing well. We would always advise that transplant patients have the flu vaccination every year for life. He will be vulnerable to infections such as the flu and the vaccination will offer some protection.The vaccinations are different every year depending on the common strains identified so if he had a reaction previously it does not mean that he will again. It is very rare to have a reaction but I can understand his reluctance. Although we would always advise you to have it the choice is his and some patients choose to not have the flu vaccination and are fine too.
    I guess it would depend on how bad the reaction was in the past, how long it lasted and if there is anything that he could take to help avoid a reaction. Maybe discuss it more with the transplant team and then decide, its basically about weighing up the risks and benefits and how the risks can be limited. It is his choice and he has to be happy with the decision.

    Best wishes
  • Accepted Answer
    Hi there, I guess the decision to have the vaccination is dependent on the reaction that your husband has had to it previously. The risk may be more not to have the vaccination as a heavy dose of flu can be very hard on us post transplant. It generally takes longer for me to get over sniffles, coughs and colds than it used to, so any chance to try and avoid full blown flu is one I'd take.

    I've had the injection each year since my transplant (the first time probably about the same time after my transplant as your husband is due). I'd never had the injection before I had my Leukaemia so I don't know whether I'd have had a reaction. I guess you need to speak to your husbands medical team and see what they say, but the benefits of having the flu jab with a manageable reaction may outweigh the risk of not having it.

    One point to note is that you and any immediate family living with you should also be covered. If you have children the recommendation is that they have the jab, rather than the nasal spray as that is an active vaccination.

    Hope this helps.



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