Shingles vaccine now available after transplant
Hi everyone - it's Tom, the Head of Patient Information here at Anthony Nolan.
Last year the JCVI (the expert body that advises the NHS on vaccines) agreed that stem cell transplant and CAR T recipients aged 18 and over should be able to access the Shingrix vaccine to help prevent shingles. Shingles is a relatively common infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, which people who have recently received a stem cell transplant or treatment with CAR T-Cells are at higher risk of developing.
We are very pleased that the Green Book (the official guide to vaccines and vaccination procedures) has now been updated to reflect this decision. This means that it should be easier to access the Shingrix vaccine after a stem cell transplant or CAR T-Cell therapy, as GPs often refer to the Green Book to confirm what vaccines they should be providing. They can find the new wording on page 9 of the Green Book, chapter 28a.
This positive news is the result of campaigning by Anthony Nolan’s Policy team and the BSBMTCT (British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy).
Your stem cell transplant consultant or specialist nurse will be able to advise you on whether the Shingrix vaccine is suitable for you and when best to time each of the two doses. They can also help you to arrange vaccination with your local GP or pharmacy.
From September, people aged 50 and over who have received a stem cell transplant or CAR T-Cell therapy will be contacted by the NHS to receive the Shingrix vaccine under the national vaccination programme. However, if you are a stem cell transplant or CAR T-Cell recipient of any adult age, you do not need to wait to be called by the NHS, and you should follow the advice of your medical team about when best to time your Shingrix vaccination.
If you experience any issues accessing the Shingrix vaccine, please call our Helpline on 0303 303 0303 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have further info about vaccinations after transplant on our Infections page:
All the best,