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Immunisation

Unless told otherwise by your doctor (for example, you are allergic to eggs), you should receive immunisations for both the flu and pneumonia. 


The flu vaccine is available each autumn and you should be immunised every year.  It has been shown to reduce by 50% serious illness, hospitalisation and death in patients with COPD.  As there are no live viruses in the vaccine, you will not get the flu from injection of the vaccine.  Like any injection, injection of the flu vaccine may make your arm tender for a short period of time. Other side effects are minor and include mild fever and joint pain.


You should get the pneumonia immunisation every five years.  If you had the pneumonia vaccine more than five years ago, or have had pneumonia since you first had the vaccination, ask your doctor if you should be immunised again.  Like the flu vaccine, there are no live viruses in the pneumonia vaccine; however, injection of the pneumonia vaccine may make your arm tender for a short period of time. 


After two immunisations (a 10 year period), discuss with your doctor whether further immunisations should be given.