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MMR vaccine

I have recently been in touch with my GP practise nurse to arrange an appointment for an MMR vaccine. 2 years and 3 months after transplant I was due to have this final vaccine.
12 months had passed since I had completed the initial run of childhood vaccines recommended following transplant.

Because of the unusual request my GP nurse did a check with my haematology unit and she was told not to give the MMR vaccine. She has told me I am a low risk anyway with my age (65).
Is this the norm, has anyone else been given this advice, I understand this vaccine is a 'live' type.

I will mention it at my next clinic review but would be interested to hear if this has applied to anyone else.



  • Hello and welcome Peter.
    I will be one-year post-transplant at the end of October and we are now waiting for the GP to write with dates and details of vaccinations.
    How long did it take you to complete your childhood vaccines? Do you have them all together or were yours spaced out over many months/weeks? Which vaccinations should I be expecting?
  • Hi Katherine

    Thanks for the ' welcome' comment.

    When I reached the 12 month mark I was given a letter from my transplant unit with the recommendations for immunisation post stem cell transplant and a copy was sent to the GP.

    In my case the vaccines were as follows, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis B, pneumonia and meningitis. All these vaccines were administered on my first visit to the practise nurse in 3 injections, 2 in one arm and 1 in the other. The same vaccines were repeated a month later. The following month repeated again with the exception of the meningitis. I didn't have any reaction or discomfort following the injections.
    There then has to be a 12 month gap when there is a follow up pneumonia injection and the MMR, but as you know from my earlier comments I need to clarify with my transplant team whether or not to have the MMR vaccine particularly as I am in frequent contact with young grandchildren.
    I was also given the all clear to have the annual flu jab which comes around about this time.
    Incidentally it was recommended that my wife also had the pneumonia injection.

    Hope this info helps.

    Best wishes

  • I'm about 20 months post transplant and queried my vaccinations with my consultant a month or so ago. She said we do need to arrange them, but wasn't in a particular rush to do so.

    I'm curious though. What has everyone had, when, and were you off immuno suppression when you did?
  • I've just got past the six-month milestone and have been advised by my transplant consultant to get the flu vaccine from my GP (who has just written to offer it), but am expecting everything else to start happening after the one-year milestone (like Peter and Katherine, by the sounds of it).

    It was good, too, to get a letter from my GP saying they'll be paying special attention to me (or words to that effect) because of my illness.

    Previously I'd found it quite amusing when a receptionist contacted me to check I hadn't left the area, because I hadn't seen the GP for so long – I had to explain it wasn't because of a flawless medical record, but the opposite...
  • Hi, Katherine has just been advised to start looking at getting her vaccines. With regards to the flu vaccine - the hospital have stressed in a letter that this cannot be the 'live' version. The nasal spray soon to be offered to children looks set to be the 'live' version which could potentially be a problem for those with low immunity.
  • Hi everyone

    The Anthony Nolan Patient team recently sent me some information about post transplant vaccinations which you might find useful and which I will share with you, I was having a bit of an issue with the MMR vaccine.
    This is the info I received,

    'During the transplant your own immune system is destroyed or damaged. This is replaced with donor cells. However because of some of the drugs such as cyclosporine which you have had after you received the cells, the immunity in the donor cells against all infections will not be perfect. For this reason your transplant centre will recommend that you have you childhood vaccinations again.

    This will usually be several months after the transplant and some of the vaccines need to be given more than once. Live vaccines such as MMR are not recommended until at least two years after the transplant or longer for patients with GvHD.

    Your transplant team will have a schedule that they can give you, and often your GP will be asked to give you the vaccinations. There are international Guidelines which make the basic recommendations, although these may differ depending on where you live and your age.

    Many transplant centres follow The European Guidelines which are available here (if you scroll down, Table 2 shows the recommendations for different vaccinations):

    There may be individual reasons why some vaccinations are or aren't given or recommended for you. Your transplant centre will be in the best place to explain this to you.'

    Hope this helps.

  • Still no further with my vaccines, other than the flu jab which my consultant has asked me to arrange through my GP. I have done and me and the rest of my immediate family go on Friday for the jabs.

    A point to note regarding the flu jabs that my consultant made me aware of is that any children that are offered the nasal spray at school should be given a consent form to make sure there is nobody in the household who is immune compromised. If there is (and I suspect many of us on here are) they should not have the nasal vaccine, as this is a live vaccine.

    Apparently the government guidance is for all members of the household to have the jab through their GP, and if there is any resistance on the part of the GP, you should refer them to the Green Book: "Immunisation against infectious disease", specifically chapter 19 page 200, which recommends that : "Consideration should also be given to the vaccination, with inactivated vaccine, of household contacts of immunocompromised individuals, i.e. individuals who expect to share living accommodation on most days over the winter and therefore for whom continuing close contact is unavoidable."

    I hope this helps.
  • Steve

    That's really interesting about the flu vaccine given to children in the form of a nasal spray. I note the wording 'household'. I don't have any children now of school age but we are involved in helping out with child care and school pick ups a couple of days a week for one grandchild who started school in September. Plus they live vey close and we probably see them 3 or 4 times a week.

    I will mention it on my next clinic visit, it may be that I just have to stay away from them for a week or so.

    Thanks for the info.

  • I have checked with my transplant team the query re nasal flu vaccine, for me they suggest I have no contact for a couple of days with my grandchild due to have the nasal spray today, this is just to be on the safe side, but they advised to avoid any bodily secretion contacts! (things like sickness and nappies).That will not be a problem for me I assured them. But to err on the side of caution we have agreed not to have contact until at least the middle of next week and we would check anyway to see if the child has had any adverse reaction.
  • Diesaldrinker62

    Hiya there, i am 18mths post transplant and i also keep on mentioning to my consultant about sending the vaccine schedule back to my G.P, but they don't appear to be too concerned that i haven't had them yet. They may be taking a side of caution though, as i had a lot of complications post sct. I've had flu vaccine though and was fine with that.
  • Hi Claire,

    I had my flu jab a couple of weeks ago now and everything seems to be fine. My consultant still doesn't seem in any hurry to arrange my other vaccines though, so I guess I'll just wait and see what happens, though I'll continue to remind her when I have my check-ups.

  • Having my last Hep B jab today. I'm 3yrs 8mths post transplant and only stopped cyclosporin in May. My husband also had the pneumonia jab at the same time as the flu jab as my GP at the time thought that as he is my carer it would be better to protect him. Your transplant centre should also arrange a test approx 6 months after the vaccinations to ensure you have formed an immune response to the various jabs.
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