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Swine flu vaccination after TX?

Dear Expert team,

the swine flu vaccine is supposed to be available from mid-October. Should a CF/TX patient get vaccinated, even though there aren’t any studies about this yet? I am quite concerned since one cannot predict any long-term effects in connection with immunosuppression. What is your opinion about this?

Thank you for your effort!

Kind regards
Dear questioner,

for lung transplant patients, we recommend getting the annual (common) influenza vaccination without any reservation. We are not opposed to the swine flu vaccination as a supplement, but do not emphatically recommend it yet, since there are no experiences so far with the vaccine concerning tolerance and response. It has to be stressed that the chance of catching the “regular” flu is much higher than it is the case with the “swine flu.”

And concerning the “swine flu”: at this point, there is no precise information available about when the vaccine will be approved. In July 2009, the WHO (World Health Organization) issued preliminary recommendations against swine flu vaccinations. This was based on the idea that, once the vaccine is available, medical staff and chronically ill people should be vaccinated first. Due to the possible side effects, there continue to be “pro and con” discussions, and there also still seem to be problems with the vaccine production. Therefore, it is still unclear when we can actually expect the vaccine to be available. At any rate, do stay in touch with your treating physician about this question.

[translator’s comment: am leaving out the link, since information will only be provided in German there…]

Kind regards
Dr. Christina Smaczny
Please do take into account that this question had been posed in late summer; now in November 2009 things look quite different as a new waves of new cases appeared and things changes nearly daily, concerning the recommendations which patients/healthy persons should be vaccinated. Recommendations and available vaccines differ even from country to country. Therefore it is important to stay in close contact with the care team and the national official sources of information to get a reliable recommendation in the specific single case of a patient; in Germany for example this i the Robert-Koch-Institute (
D. d'Alquen