Awareness Contaminated Blood News

Do you need the flu vaccine this year?

As the weather gets colder, Scotland’s national health information service, NHS Inform, has been busy promoting the flu vaccine. Last year thousands of people were hospitalised due to flu. They advise that the best way to protect yourself is to get the free seasonal flu vaccine.

Their website gives the following says,

Some people are at greater risk from the dangers of flu. Everyone in these groups should make sure they’re immunised this year. This includes:

  • children aged 2 (on 1 September 2018) until the end of primary school
  • people with a health condition
  • those aged 65 and over
  • pregnant women
  • healthcare workers
  • unpaid or young carers

Fact about flu: The vaccine’s totally safe and effective – it can’t give a child or adult the flu.

We contacted NHS Inform to ask for more clarity about whether “people with a health condition” was intended to cover all long-term conditions including inherited bleeding disorders.

After consulting their Senior Medical Officer with responsibility for flu they have concluded that Haemophilia and von Willebrands on their own are not an indication for the flu vaccine.  However, is someone with an inherited bleeding disorder has any infections such as HIV and/or any of the hepatitis such as Hep B or Hep C then they should be offered the flu vaccine.

You can make arrangements for getting your flu vaccine by talking to your GP.  If you have any doubts please talk to your Haemophilia Centre or the specialist team dealing with the relevant infection.

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