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Son’s live flu vaccine


Re: Son’s live flu vaccine

Hi Emma

Thank you for posting here.

Anyone at risk of a weakened immune system, and therefore more prone to infection, should have the flu vaccine. This includes people having chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer like yourself.

As you say, in contrast to the vaccine for adults, the vaccine for children does contain live but weakened flu viruses that do not cause flu.  We’re unable to advise you specifically about the timing of your vaccinations for you and your family, or to say what your immune status may be two weeks after you have the vaccine  However, it is suggested that people do avoid close contact with children who have had the nasal spray if they have a severely weakened immune system, for 2 weeks following their vaccination. 

Because of this we would always suggest that you talk to your oncologist or breast care nurse about the timing of vaccinations for you and your family, and whether you need to avoid contact with your son when he’s had the nasal spray flu vaccine.

Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through more or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.

The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).

Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Please be aware that we will be closed on Monday 31 August due to the bank holiday. 

Best wishes


Breast Cancer Now Nurse

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Son’s live flu vaccine


Just thinking about getting our flu vaccines sorted. I am currently undergoing chemotherapy and I’m told I can have the flu vaccine. However, my son is 4 and will have the live vaccine which I believe I shouldn’t  be around. I think I read this in the NHS website or maybe Macmillan. But does that mean I have to be totally away from him for a few days or just not get too close to him or blow his nose etc?

Also, if I have my vaccine a couple of weeks before him, would I not be protected anyway?

Thanks for any clarification you can give.