Hi everyone. I had a routine blood test yesterday and the nurse said I was being offered a Pneumococcal vaccination as I was on the chemo meds. Does anyone have an opinion on whether or not this is advisable please? I have ET (Jak2) and am taking Hydroxy + baby Aspirin
Hi @Shell33. I have myelofibrosis which is related to ET. They are both MPN’s and soon after I was diagnosed my GP advised me to have the pneumonia vaccine. I was taking Hydroxycarbamide at the time. She also advised me to repeat the pneumonia vaccine every five years due to my immune system not working as well as non blood cancer patients. Normally the vaccine for pneumonia is just a one-off. Therefore I have been receiving it every five years with no problems. This is just my experience. I am not medically trained. I would advise you to speak to your GP or haematology team about it. Warm wishes. Willow X
Good Morning @Shell33,
Hope you are keeping well today? Thanks for raising a really important topic & i’m glad you have asked the question.
The pneumococcal vaccine (pneumonia or pneumo jab) is active against a bacterial infection that can cause pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia. These infections are particularly serious in people with a suppressed immune system ( incl those with a blood cancer).
It is not a general protection against all forms of pneumonia, just pneumonia caused by the ‘pneumococcus’ organism.
The pneumo jab is available on the NHS for children and adults aged from 2 to 64 years old who are at a higher risk of developing a pneumococcal infection than the general population - this is generally the same people who are eligible for annual flu vaccination.
So typically, it is advised in those who are considered to have lowered immune systems so definitely worth considering.
In case you wish to read more about it I have linked a good resource here- Pneumococcal vaccine overview - NHS.
I do hope this helps Shell & please know that if you want to talk anything through our support line is available 7 days- 0808 2080 888.
Take Care, Lauran
Thank you, that’s very helpful
Great advice, thank you. I have my regular call with the Heamo team next week.
I’ve had a stem cell transplant and I had my pneumococcal vaccine when I had all my childhood vaccinations, about 18 months post transplant. My consultant recommends having it every five years. I can’t see any good reason not to have it, and plenty of good reasons to have it!
I just read on the NHS website that the pneumococcal vaccine is not recommended for people having chemotherapy. My husband also has ET and is on hydroxycarbamide.
Since several of you have had the vaccine who also take this medication, does that mean that it’s ok to have this vaccine while taking hydroxycarbamide as I believe it is also a type of chemotherapy medication.
Hi @Kirsteen perhaps different medical people have different opinions on this issue, I am not a medical person, I don’t know.
I will copy your post to the Blood Cancer UK nurse advisors in case they can add anything for you @BloodCancerUK_Nurses.
Look after yourself
Hello there @Kirsteen
You are quite right in saying that as your husband is on chemotherapy he could receive the pneumococcal vaccine but I would ask his Haematology treatment team prior to arranging this. The PPV vaccine is available on the NHS for children and adults aged from 2 to 64 years old who are at a higher risk of developing a pneumococcal infection than the general population. The pneumococcal vaccine is very safe, although, like all vaccinations, it can cause side effects. It’s not possible to catch a pneumococcal infection from the vaccine, as the vaccine does not contain any live bacteria.
Who should have the pneumococcal vaccine? - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
I do hope this helps and call us if you need to talk things through: Blood cancer information and support by phone and email | Blood Cancer UK
Hey everyone, I spoke to my Heamo consultant today and she is happy for me to have the jab too.
All the best
I have already had this with no after effects.