Flu jabs - Should we have them?


Has anyone been told they should have the flu vaccination when on chemotherapy? I’ve just been watching “Good Morning” on TV and they suggested it was strongly advisable especially as they think this year’s strain is the more viralent “Australian” flu bug. I’d be interested to hear of any advice that anyone’s been given.


Hi Sarah

I have been on constant chemo for the past 2 years and have been advised to have the flu jab. Although they never know which strain might be around at least you’ve got some form of cover because we are immuno suppressant whilst on chemo.

Are you also aware that if you have any dental treatment whilst on chemotherapy that you should let your oncologist know as there is a risk of infection and antibiotics are normally prescribed for you to take 24 hours before treatment.

I too was told to have the flu jab on chemo but get the timing right! So not when your neutrofils are at their lowest. It is best to check with your onc.


Hi everyone

I’ll ask one of the Breast Cancer Care nurses and then post their advice on this.

All the best



I’m thinking of having the flu jab too and my doctor is going to talk to my onc about it … will report back when I know what the advice is.



when I was on chemo last year I was told by my onc to get the flu jab. As Dawn says though I had to get the timing exactly right. Think it was a couple of days before I was due my chemo,


Hi again

This is the advice from Breast Cancer Care nursing team:

'As many of you know, when you have chemotherapy your body is less able to fight infections. For this reason it is usually recommended that during the flu season people due to have chemotherapy have a flu vaccination before they start their chemotherapy. For those already in the middle of their chemotherapy treatment it might be best to check with your oncologist or chemotherapy nurse about what they advise. The flu vaccination is not a “live” vaccine, meaning that there are no safety worries about having it at the same time as chemotherapy. However because your body needs to mount an immune response to the vaccine to give you protection against the flu virus, it might be less effective to have the vaccine at a time when your immune system is not working as well as it usually does. It might be helpful to have the vaccine at a time when your immune system is most recovered and your chemotherapy nurse would be able to let you know when in your chemotherapy treatment this would occur for you (typically towards the end of each chemotherapy cycle).

If you would like to read more about this, I include a link Cancer Research UK’s website which contains more information:


I hope this helps clear up this issue

All the best


Hi to all
my onc does not like you to have the flu jabso being a good girl and grateful for his ability to extend my life in the first year 2004 while on fec I didnt. Got the worst cold ever much worse than MAN FLU! and so I and hubby have had the jab every year. Just got back from Spain and picked up a rotten cold so when it goes I will be having this years jab.

Love Debsxxx

Hi everyone

Should you keep on getting the flu jab even when your treatment has finished as i got one last year shortly after i had finished chemo and rads, so i was wondering if i should continue with them.

Mary xx

Hi Mary
if you have secondaries you can have them on nhs not sure about primary though. I have a stinking cold at moment it just wont go. Check with your gp.

Love Debsxxx