VACCINE ADVICE FOR SARCOIDOSIS PATIENTS
There are three flu vaccines available this year but the two that are most likely to be important to those with sarcoidosis are:
- The adjuvanted Trivalent flu vaccine (aTIV). This is licensed for people aged 65 years and over.
- The Quadrivalent vaccine (QIV). This is recommended for children aged from 6 months to 2 years and in adults from 18 years to less than 65 years of age who are at increased risk from flu because of a long term health condition (clinical risk group).
Flu vaccinations are not live vaccinations and therefore cannot give you flu, although you may feel a little unwell after. This means that they are safe to use in patients who are taking immune suppression medication such as prednisolone. Moreover the vaccine is generally recommended to this group of people who have weakened immune systems and are more likely to:
- Contract infection
- Contract a severe infection
- Take more time to recover from infection
The following people are offered the flu vaccine free of charge on the NHS:
- Anyone aged over 65 years.
- Anyone with a chronic respiratory, heart, liver, kidney or neurological disease (clinical risk group).
- Anyone with a weakened immune system as a result of steroid tablets.
However sarcoidosis is a rare disease and is not necessarily classified as a clinical risk group. In addition the availability of the flu vaccine varies across different parts of the UK. Therefore you may have to request the flu vaccination from your GP. He or she can make a clinical decision regarding its administration and ensure that it is entered on your notes.
If you have a carer they may also be eligible for a free flu vaccination, even if they are family members. Please encourage them to ask their own GP about this.
Sarcoidosis patients should also consider a vaccination against Pneumococcal (PCV) infections. It is a single time vaccination and will protect you against complications such as pneumonia. Like the flu vaccine, the pneumococcal vaccine is also offered as standard to anyone aged over 65 and is usually offered to patients with long term chronic conditions. However sarcoidosis is a rare disease and is not necessarily classified as a long term chronic condition. Therefore you may have to request the pneumococcal vaccination from your GP.
Page last updated: 20/11/2019