J Savage, F Muller, AD Ormerod
Journal Issue: 
Volume 41: Issue 3: 2011



The Green Book recommended in 2009 that immunosuppressed patients should be receiving the yearly seasonal flu vaccine, the pandemic swine influenza A H1N1/09 vaccine and should have had the single pneumococcal vaccination. A retrospective audit in 2010 involving 60 immunosuppressed patients revealed that 83.3% of participants were aware of their entitlement to the vaccines. The majority were informed by their GP practice rather than the prescribing specialist. In 2009, 70% of participants received the seasonal flu vaccine, 40% received the H1N1 vaccine and 21.6% had received the pneumococcal vaccine. Reasons given for not receiving the recommended vaccines were lack of awareness, reported by 37.5%, followed by worries regarding side-effects reported by 25%. The data suggest that uptake rates, particularly for pneumococcal vaccination, could be improved with targeted information and promotion at the point of commencing immunosuppressants and approaching the influenza season. Prescribing physicians should take a more active role in routinely promoting and planning vaccination for at-risk groups and should provide information on how to receive the recommended vaccines and their side-effect profiles.