Flu Vaccinations and Chronic Kidney Disease (Stages 3, 4 or 5)

If you have either Chronic Kidney Disease at Stage 3, 4 or 5 – sometimes known as Established Renal Failure (ERF) you have a greater risk of becoming more seriously ill from flu than the general population.

What is Flu?
Many people think having flu is like having a bad cold, but in reality, flu is a nasty respiratory virus which can make you feel very unwell. For those people who have chronic kidney disease, it makes fighting off infections much harder and can lead to problems with
other organs in your body. The risk is much greater than for people who are normally fit and healthy. Some of these
complications can be life threatening. Evidence suggests people with chronic kidney disease are 19 times more likely to die from
flu complications than a person who is healthy. Every year over 11,000 people in England die complications caused by the flu virus. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by having the flu vaccination.

Why is this important for you?
If you have had a kidney transplant or are waiting for one you are more at risk of developing complications if you catch flu. If you have flu and a kidney becomes available, you may not be well enough to have the transplant operation.
Some medications used to treat flu may not be suitable for people with chronic kidney disease. Some medications can increase your risk of heart problems and stroke. Many people with chronic kidney disease have other long-term conditions such as heart disease
or diabetes. These can also become worse if you catch flu. Preventing flu in the first place is the best option.
It’s FREE because YOU need it

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can flu be treated with antibiotics?
A. No. Flu is a virus and the only way to be really protected is with a flu vaccine.
Q. Will having the vaccine give me flu?
A. No. The vaccine contains an inactive form of the virus which cannot cause flu. Some
people may have a sore arm and mild aches and pains which means the vaccine is working
and should only last 48 hours.
Q. Is the vaccine safe?
A. Yes. The vaccine is known to be very safe and can be given to babies and very elderly
people with very few problems or reactions.

If you need more information:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/
www.kidneycareuk.org/about-kidney-health/conditions/ckd/
www.kidney.org.uk/Pages/Category/what-is-kidney-disease


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Published: Oct 17, 2019