The November 2007 eBulletin
of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation
(AA&MDSIF) includes an article about flu shots for patients with bone marrow failure diseases.
A few of the points it makes:
- All vaccines carry some risks, but patients should avoid infections and other illnesses whenever possible.
- Flu shot risks are reduced because an inactive (not live) vaccine is used.
- Problems from flu shots have been reported, but are rare.
- There have been a few case reports of post-flu-shot hemolysis for PNH patients. The risks may be reduced for those taking Soliris.
- There are published guidelines about flu shots for those who have undergone transplants.
- The flu shot decision depends on the patient's history, treatments, and symptoms.
- Every patient is different. Findings for other groups of patients may not apply to you.
- Patients should discuss with their own doctors whether or not to get a flu shot each year.
We encourage patients and family members to read this article and to talk to the patient's physicians about the pros and cons of flu shots.