Ask a Nurse
posted by ladybird
31 October 2020

Flu vaccine for children

Last reply: 3 months ago

I am having chemo treatment for breast cancer and have 2 children under 12.

Myself and husband have gotten flu vaccine but pharmacy said that children version is live and not to be given to anyone on cancer treatment. My gp has advised I should get it done. So totally confused.

1 comment


commented by Cancer Nurse
02 November 2020

3 months ago

Dear Ladybird,


Thank you for posting.  I’m very sorry to read about your breast cancer diagnosis, I hope yourself and your family are keeping well despite all that is happening for you. It is understandable to feel confused after getting conflicting advice from your pharmacist and your GP. Many people who are having chemotherapy understandably worry about getting vaccines, it is good that yourself and your husband have gotten the flu vaccine as it is recommended for most cancer patients, this will help protect you during this flu season.  We would recommend to contact your consultant or their liaison nurse for advice if it is safe for your children to have the vaccine this year,  as the children’s vaccine is live, there is a very small chance that the vaccine virus could be passed on to you and cause flu if you have a severely weakened immune system, I have attached further information about the flu vaccine and cancer here.  Your hospital team will know from your blood tests how your immune system is doing while you are having treatment and will be best placed to give this advice.  Please do not hesitate to call our support line on 1800 200 700 if you would like to speak with a cancer nurse.


Kind regards,


Cancer Nurse


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