Thursday, November 19, 2009

Have you had your H1N1 flu shot?

After receiving the seasonal flu shot a couple of weeks ago I managed to get the H1N1 vaccine this week so I'm hopefully well protected against the flu for this year. I hope that all transplant recipients make an effort to get these shots. Medical specialists recommend that all immunosuppressed individuals receive the vaccines. People that have had solid organ transplants (such as lungs, kidneys or livers) have higher flu infection rates due to the immunosuppressant drugs they take. Lung transplant recipients such as I seem particularly at risk as the lungs are the primary site of flu infection.

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Anonymous said...

Well.. being a medical practitioner myself, it is no guarantee that a vaccine (passive immunity) can protect one from developing the actual illness./ disease. Remember the vaccine contains only antigens or antibodies, and they are only few in number as compared to the whole immune system of the body. It is the body immune system alone which determines total protection. In an immunocompromised state, there is the danger that the body may not form enough its own antibodies, complements and tissue factors/inflammatory mediators to fight off the infection.

Merv Sheppard said...

Agreed. It is possible that the degree of immunosuppression could diminish the effectiveness of the vaccine, but this is not a reason to avoid the vaccination.