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Vaccinations

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An operation to replace a patient’s diseased lungs with lungs from a donor
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The worsening of a disease/condition over time

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A formal documentation when someone else is given the responsibility to manage your affairs and make certain decisions on your behalf

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Refers to the lungs

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A group of tests used to check how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they supply oxygen to the rest of the body14

View in glossary

A type of high blood pressure that affects the blood vessels to the lungs and the right side of the heart15

View in glossary

Therapy that provides relief from symptoms to help patients live more comfortably with their disease13

View in glossary

Administration of oxygen as a medical intervention11

View in glossary

A small plastic tube or prongs that fit in the nostrils to deliver supplementary oxygen11

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Listening to and playing music as a therapy which aims to ease the symptoms of those living with IPF

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A sleep disorder characterised by breathing that repeatedly stops and starts during sleep12

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A specialist who helps someone recover or live with their symptoms more easily

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A machine that removes other gases from the air to provide oxygen for oxygen therapy11

View in glossary

An education and exercise programme designed to improve the quality of life for people with lung conditions16

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A physician specialised in lung problems (also known as a respirologist)

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A product that gives protection against a specific infection

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A test used to monitor oxygen levels in a patient’s blood, usually with a non-invasive sensor11

View in glossary

A breathing technique to help control breathlessness and reduce anxiety17

View in glossary

A disease that affects only a small percentage of the population

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Something that is associated with an increased risk of disease or infection

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A technique that helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helping to understand and manage your emotions

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Therapies used alongside conventional treatments that help treat symptoms and may improve overall physical and mental wellbeing

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A medical study that investigates how safe and effective a new therapy or technique is for treating a certain disease

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A disease or condition that occurs at the same time as another disease or condition

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A device to deliver compressed air to improve sleep in people with obstructive sleep apnoea6

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A disease where a waxy substance (plaque) builds up inside the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle7

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A type of chronic disease that typically worsens over time and is characterised by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are older terms used for COPD5

View in glossary

Refers to the heart, and blood vessels

View in glossary

A type of medication that aims to slow the scarring and stiffening of lungs to slow disease progression2

View in glossary

Tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the blood takes place

View in glossary

A test that shows how well the lungs are working by measuring how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in the blood. This test requires that a small volume of blood be drawn from the patient3

View in glossary

Techniques that involve breathing in a certain way to control breathlessness and strengthen your lungs

View in glossary

A procedure in which a bronchoscope (a medical instrument like a tube) is passed through the mouth or nose into the lung and fluid is squirted into a small part of the lung and then collected for examination4

View in glossary

A lung condition where the air sacs within the lungs (alveoli) become damaged5

View in glossary

Extreme weariness resulting from exertion or illness

View in glossary

Of unknown cause

View in glossary

Rapid and uncontrolled breathing

View in glossary

A disease where there is progressive scarring or thickening of the lungs without a known cause4

View in glossary

The surgical removal of cells or tissue samples from the lung for examination by a pathologist10

View in glossary

The lung tissue becomes thickened and stiff

View in glossary

A test that uses a type of X-ray that produces multiple, detailed images of areas inside the body4

View in glossary

A burning sensation in the chest, which can spread to the throat, along with a sour taste in the mouth

View in glossary

Where inflamed tissue is replaced with scar tissue, making it thicken and become stiffer4

View in glossary

A symptom where the ends of the fingers become wider and rounder8

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A digestive disease where stomach acid moves up out of the stomach and irritates the lining of the food pipe (oesophagus)9

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A physician specialising in the management of diseases of the digestive system

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An event characterised by sudden, severe worsening of symptoms or an increase in disease severity1

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Being proactive about preventing health problems is an important part of staying healthy for anyone living with a lung disease, especially IPF.1

 

Vaccines are products which protect people against some potentially serious infectious diseases. Unlike most medicines that treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them.1


It is very important that people with IPF receive vaccinations, as lung infections can cause symptoms to worsen. For example, if an IPF patient contracts the flu, the symptoms of flu can become serious as the patient’s lungs are vulnerable.2

 

Millions of people receive vaccinations every year and very few people have any serious side effects after receiving one. More often, you might have a sore arm, a mild fever and some aches after receiving a vaccine. These responses are normal. They are due to your body creating a natural response that will help protect you from infections in the future. Speak to your healthcare team for more information about side effects before vaccination.3


Four of the most important vaccines which patients with IPF may need to receive are outlined below.

An operation to replace a patient’s diseased lungs with lungs from a donor
View in glossary

The worsening of a disease/condition over time

View in glossary

A formal documentation when someone else is given the responsibility to manage your affairs and make certain decisions on your behalf

View in glossary

Refers to the lungs

View in glossary

A group of tests used to check how well the lungs take in and release air and how well they supply oxygen to the rest of the body14

View in glossary

A type of high blood pressure that affects the blood vessels to the lungs and the right side of the heart15

View in glossary

Therapy that provides relief from symptoms to help patients live more comfortably with their disease13

View in glossary

Administration of oxygen as a medical intervention11

View in glossary

A small plastic tube or prongs that fit in the nostrils to deliver supplementary oxygen11

View in glossary

Listening to and playing music as a therapy which aims to ease the symptoms of those living with IPF

View in glossary

A sleep disorder characterised by breathing that repeatedly stops and starts during sleep12

View in glossary

A specialist who helps someone recover or live with their symptoms more easily

View in glossary

A machine that removes other gases from the air to provide oxygen for oxygen therapy11

View in glossary

An education and exercise programme designed to improve the quality of life for people with lung conditions16

View in glossary

A physician specialised in lung problems (also known as a respirologist)

View in glossary

A product that gives protection against a specific infection

View in glossary

A test used to monitor oxygen levels in a patient’s blood, usually with a non-invasive sensor11

View in glossary

A breathing technique to help control breathlessness and reduce anxiety17

View in glossary

A disease that affects only a small percentage of the population

View in glossary

Something that is associated with an increased risk of disease or infection

View in glossary

A technique that helps to reduce stress and anxiety by helping to understand and manage your emotions

View in glossary

Therapies used alongside conventional treatments that help treat symptoms and may improve overall physical and mental wellbeing

View in glossary

A medical study that investigates how safe and effective a new therapy or technique is for treating a certain disease

View in glossary

A disease or condition that occurs at the same time as another disease or condition

View in glossary

A device to deliver compressed air to improve sleep in people with obstructive sleep apnoea6

View in glossary

A disease where a waxy substance (plaque) builds up inside the coronary arteries, which supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle7

View in glossary

A type of chronic disease that typically worsens over time and is characterised by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are older terms used for COPD5

View in glossary

Refers to the heart, and blood vessels

View in glossary

A type of medication that aims to slow the scarring and stiffening of lungs to slow disease progression2

View in glossary

Tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the blood takes place

View in glossary

A test that shows how well the lungs are working by measuring how much oxygen and carbon dioxide is in the blood. This test requires that a small volume of blood be drawn from the patient3

View in glossary

Techniques that involve breathing in a certain way to control breathlessness and strengthen your lungs

View in glossary

A procedure in which a bronchoscope (a medical instrument like a tube) is passed through the mouth or nose into the lung and fluid is squirted into a small part of the lung and then collected for examination4

View in glossary

A lung condition where the air sacs within the lungs (alveoli) become damaged5

View in glossary

Extreme weariness resulting from exertion or illness

View in glossary

Of unknown cause

View in glossary

Rapid and uncontrolled breathing

View in glossary

A disease where there is progressive scarring or thickening of the lungs without a known cause4

View in glossary

The surgical removal of cells or tissue samples from the lung for examination by a pathologist10

View in glossary

The lung tissue becomes thickened and stiff

View in glossary

A test that uses a type of X-ray that produces multiple, detailed images of areas inside the body4

View in glossary

A burning sensation in the chest, which can spread to the throat, along with a sour taste in the mouth

View in glossary

Where inflamed tissue is replaced with scar tissue, making it thicken and become stiffer4

View in glossary

A symptom where the ends of the fingers become wider and rounder8

View in glossary

A digestive disease where stomach acid moves up out of the stomach and irritates the lining of the food pipe (oesophagus)9

View in glossary

A physician specialising in the management of diseases of the digestive system

View in glossary

An event characterised by sudden, severe worsening of symptoms or an increase in disease severity1

View in glossary

Flu (influenza) vaccination

 

The symptoms of flu can contribute to a worsening of symptoms for patients with IPF. For this reason, it is important that people who have IPF are considered to receive the vaccine for flu every year.2


Flu comes in many different forms. Each year you may receive a new vaccination to ensure that you are better protected for the year ahead.1


The flu vaccination prevents many people contracting flu and can help to reduce the risk of developing severe flu symptoms.1

 

 

Pneumonia vaccination

 

Pneumonia can cause complications and exacerbate the symptoms of IPF.1 Therefore, it is very important that IPF patients receive the pneumonia vaccination.2

 

There are two types of pneumonia vaccines for adults that protect against different types of the infection. These are known as the PPSV23 and PCV13 vaccines. Both vaccines are designed to prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcus, the most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in adults. Your doctor may prescribe you both vaccines.4

 

 

Shingles vaccination (also known as zoster)5

 

Shingles is caused by the same virus (called zoster) which causes chicken pox. Anyone who has had chicken pox as a child has the virus lying dormant in their nerves. As we get older, sometimes the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.

 

The best way to prevent shingles is by using a vaccination called the zoster vaccine. This vaccine reduces the likelihood that you experience a reactivation of the virus in your body.

 

The vaccine contains a weak version of the actual virus. This means that if you are taking medications that weaken the immune system, it may not be appropriate for you to take this vaccine.

 

 

Pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination

 

Over the past few years, whooping cough (also known as pertussis) has made a return.6 Whooping cough can also worsen IPF symptoms.


Although many people have been vaccinated for whooping cough as a child, the vaccine becomes less effective over time.6 For this reason, adults should also have a booster vaccine for whooping cough.7


Make sure you speak to your treatment team about the right  vaccinations to protect your health moving forward.

Key Takeaways

  • A proactive approach is important to protecting your health with IPF

  • Vaccines are useful steps towards preventing lung infections

  • The pneumonia, whooping cough and annual flu vaccines are important to consider

Show references Hide references
  1. 1.

    European Lung Foundation. Vaccination and lung disease. Available at: http://www.europeanlung.org/assets/files/en/publications/vaccinationandlungdisease.pdf [Accessed May 2018]

  2. 2.

    Cottin V, et al. Diagnosis and management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: French practical guidelines. Eur Respir Rev. 2014; 23: 193-124.

  3. 3.

    NHS Choices. Vaccinations. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/reporting-side-effects/ [Accessed May 2018]

  4. 4.

    Mirsaeidi M, et al. Pneumococcal Vaccine and Patients with Pulmonary Diseases. Am J Med. 2014; 127:886. e1-886.e8.

  5. 5.

    Kimberlin DW, Whitley RJ. Varicella-Zoster vaccine for the prevention of herpes-zoster. New Engl J Med 2007; 365:1338-1343.

  6. 6.

    Cherry JD. Epidemic pertussis in 2012 — the resurgence of a vaccine-preventable disease. N Engl J Med. 2012; 367: 785-7.

  7. 7.

    Pesek R, Lockey R. Vaccination of adults with asthma and COPD. Allergy 2011; 66:25-31.

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It is important to stay positive, to find the doctor that you trust in, to have a good support from the family, stay active, have a healthy food intake, and so overall it is important to create a positive atmosphere

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