having watched Panorama last night on swine flu I now have mixed views. As someone who would normally never dream of taking (or being offered) a flu jab I am now confused. I will check with the onc when I see him next week.
The safest option would be to lock ourselves away inside for five months, meet no-one, don't go shopping, don't be sociable etc. Not sure I could actually do that, I think I'd go insane.
I am posting this on behalf of the BCC Nursing team.
Hello, flu jabs are recommended for anyone with an increased risk of infection due to lower immunity, although as mentioned by Zoe the fact that your immune system is compromised could effect how the body responds to the vaccine. It would be a good idea to discuss the timing of the jab with your doctor who may recommend having the vaccination between chemotherapy cycles when the blood count is recovering, hopefully the best response can be gained and the risk of flu infection reduced.
Best wishes Nursing team.
My onc said he thought the swine flu thing was over-hyped and not really an issue. No more risk than us getting any other infection or even normal flu. I hope he's right! This was before the jab was available so I will talk to him again next week before I get zapped again.
Hi, As a scientist that studies the immune system, I would suggest delaying the vaccine until you have cleared the chemo drugs out of your system. Not sure how long that takes maybe 4-5 days? The vaccine will stimulate the cells that protect you to divide, and chemo drugs kill dividing cells which is not a good combination. However once the drugs are out of your system you should be able to stimulate a protective response. Zoe
Hi, please see below a response from our Nursing Team
Although there are several different types of flu jabs they all use inactivated vaccines. These are quite safe when having chemotherapy although if your immune system is not working properly they may not be as effective in preventing the flu. As your oncologist has said to get it done asap this sounds like good advice to get the protection as soon as you can.
I was told by my Onc to ask my doctors to get me on the list for my flu jab asap. The sooner the better she said. I've just had 1 round so far and only 12 days ago so not sure when the best time in the cycle will be, I was worrying about that.
Was on chemo two years ago during flu jabs time. Flu jab highly recommended by my onc and timed just before second round of chemo when bloods at best levels. Would check with your oncologist.
Hi, I'm on Xeloda and my bloods bounce back each cycle..I'm having the regular flu jab this week..a couple of days into my new cycle and while my bloods are good..this was advised by my Onc's team..not sure if I want the swine flu jab..undecided on that one..x
got my routine call from GP for flu jab last week so checked with Onc today and advised not to have them while chemo ongoing. Am about to have second FEC out of 6.
hope this is some help - worth checking with chemo unit/onc for individual advice
Was advised by my onc to take both jabs. Just recovering from chemo and my immune system is down. Read very contradictory opinions and not sure at the moment what to do. What's your take on this?
Look forward to hearing from you!