Dr Child's Casebook: To Jab Or Not To Jab During Covid-19
As temperatures soared in early May, our Helpline felt conversely chilly as questions arrived on the merits of the pneumonia and flu jabs, prompted perhaps by the Marfan Foundation in the US which advocates the vaccines in certain circumstances. One patient asked on behalf of her teenage son and we have shared the exchange below while protecting the family’s identity.
Q. My son is 16 years old, do you advise people with Marfan to have the pneumonia vaccine? He has the flu vaccine each winter.
A. The Marfan Foundation US website advocates that those with genetic aortic conditions receive the flu (influenza) and pneumonia (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, PPSV, also known as known as Pneumovax 23, PPV-23) vaccines during the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile I have consulted a respiratory specialist at the Royal Brompton Hospital who has since responded to say:
“Yes, on balance, I would recommend pneumovax in Marfan patients (child or adults) especially if there are respiratory issues such as restrictive lung disease secondary to scoliosis or other lung disease, or heart disease - regardless of COVID-19”.
Meanwhile please refer to the Marfan Foundation and their comprehensive list of conditions in which it’s advisable to take the jab.