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A reminder that everyone with immune deficiency should have a ‘flu
vaccination each year. GPs will receive their stock of the vaccine in
October and it’s good idea to get vaccinated early for best protection
against this year’s strains of flu.

‘Flu is a serious infection that on average will affect an unvaccinated
person every 8 years. ‘Flu infection predisposes to pneumonia, meningitis
and other life threatening complications, which are more common in those
with pre-existing immunodeficiency. For this reason The UKPIPS Medical
Advisory Panel recommends that everyone affected by antibody deficiency
should be vaccinated. Anyone living in the same household should also be
vaccinated, to reduce the risk of passing on ‘flu. Those with severe
antibody deficiency may not get full protection from the vaccination – but
any protection is important, and the
vaccination may additionally help them fight the ‘flu if they are
unfortunate enough to catch it.

It’s important that UKPIPs members (including children) and their families
have the killed vaccination- administered as an injection, rather than the
new nasal spray, which is a live vaccine. Live vaccines should be avoided in
people with severe antibody deficiency (for example anyone on immunoglobulin
replacement) unless specifically recommended by your specialist.

The ‘flu injection is a killed vaccine, and therefore cannot cause ‘flu.
People do sometimes experience a sore arm and occasionally some aches and
pains for a day or so after the vaccination. This is just a sign of your
previous immunity being topped up and should be treated by drinking plenty
of water, rest and, if necessary,  a mild painkiller such as paracetamol.

As ever, if you have a sudden onset severe feverish illness, usually with
headache, muscle and joint pains, you should contact your specialist or
local medical service as a matter of urgency. If ‘flu is suspected, you will
usually be recommended a course of ‘flu medication and antibiotics to
prevent secondary infection.

Shingles Vaccinations

Some UKPIPS members may be called for the new  shingles vaccination. This is
a live vaccination. In general live vaccination should not be given to those
with severe antibody deficiency unless previously discussed with their
specialist