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Flu vaccine

Posted by

i have recently completed a course of Aldara treatment for BCC. I read that I should not have a live vaccine. Is it OK to have a flu vaccine this winter? 

Samantha - Macmillan

Hi Pontymel

Thank you for your post.

The flu vaccine is the best protection we have against an unpredictable virus that can cause people to feel unwell. Having cancer or receiving cancer treatments can lower your resistance to infections. Having the flu vaccine makes you less likely to catch the flu and if you the recovery time can be quickly.

There are few people who can’t have the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine does not contain the live flu virus and usually safe to have during cancer treatments. The vaccine can still cause people to have a slight temperature and feel unwell for a few days afterwards. It would be good to discuss having the vaccine with your nurse specialist or consultant. There may be a preferable time for you to have the vaccine.

I can see you are using the skin cancer group and that’s great to see as some people find sharing and reading experiences a great support.

You can also give our Support Line a call on 0808-808-0000 and talk to one of our nurses. Our lines are open 7 days a week, from 8am till 8pm.

Samantha- Macmillan 
Dipole Antenna
Posted by

So glad I found this information. I had asked in the radiotherapy group asking should I get the flu jab if having radiotherapy. My treatment starts soon, firstly to a small tumor then if I respond well moving on to total skin radiotherapy. 

I've been getting radiotherapy for years as I'm a radio Ham (that's Amateur radio )  )
Ellen M-Macmillan
Posted by

Hi ,

Thanks for getting in touch with us.

We’re glad to read that you found Samantha’s previous answer to a question about the flu vaccination helpful for you to read. And that you’ve already joined some of our very welcoming groups. I hope you find the support that you get there helpful.

Having radiotherapy should not prevent you from getting the flu vaccination as it’s usually safe to get when you’re having treatment as it’s not a live vaccination.

Doctors usually suggest that you have the flu vaccine if you have low immunity due to cancer or its treatment. But it’s important that you check with them first in case there is another reason that you can’t have it.  

Best wishes and take care.

Ellen-Macmillan online Digital Nurse Specialist.

Dipole Antenna
Posted by

Hello Ellen

Thanks for your reply, i have never had the flu-vaccination before and only read somewhere that it may be best to have it before treatment etc.

Thanks again 

I've been getting radiotherapy for years as I'm a radio Ham (that's Amateur radio )  )