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Flu shots

Dear Experts,

It is generally recommended for children with CF to get flu shots. However, my son (16 months old) reacts very sensitively to vaccinations; after every (different) one he has had so far, he contracted bronchitis even though he does not have any other lung problems. Should we have him vaccinated nevertheless, even if that means risking that he has to be treated again due to the shot?

Many thanks.

as CF experts, we generally suggest that all children with CF should have regular flu shots after their first birthday. Overall, children’s reactions to today’s multi-vaccinations are very diverse. Some react with symptoms such as a few days of fever and fatigue; others tolerate the shot without any side effects worth mentioning. Since your child seems to react quite strongly, one might consider doing without a flu shot for this winter and instead focusing on carrying out as many of the other vaccinations as possible. Your child will then be able to stabilize a bit over the summer. In the fall (already in September), then, it would be possible to start with the flu shots and administer half the dosage to your son twice in an interval of four weeks.

As the illness of influenza can lead to many severe complications in patients suffering from CF the vaccination is of generally of great importance. In case one considers due to strong reactions not to vaccinate the child, suffering from CF during the actual season, it is of very great importance to vaccinate at least all the near family members in order to minimize the risk of acquiring an acute influenza.

Kind regards,

Dr. H.-G. Posselt