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Inactivated flu vaccines can be given at the same time as BCG vaccines

Sarah-Louise Wainwright

I write after reading the article ‘A simple influenza campaign for young people with diabetes’ published in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing recently (Thornton, 2000). I refer to the paragraph under ‘special considerations’, stating that ‘the influenza vaccine is an inactivated influenza virus’. The author then proceeds to state in the following paragraph that the ‘influenza vaccine cannot be administered at the same time as school Bacillus Calmette-Geurin (BCG) vaccine as a minimum of three weeks should be allowed between the administration of two ‘live’ vaccines (DoH, 1996).

I would be grateful for the author’s comments on these contradictory statements. I accept that ‘live’ vaccines should either be given at the same time or, as the author states, with a three week gap. I wonder, however, how this relates to inactivated flu virus and why this presents any problem at all with a child receiving a BCG vaccination at any time subsequent to vaccination with inactivated flu vaccine (other than site usage).

I write after reading the article ‘A simple influenza campaign for young people with diabetes’ published in the Journal of Diabetes Nursing recently (Thornton, 2000). I refer to the paragraph under ‘special considerations’, stating that ‘the influenza vaccine is an inactivated influenza virus’. The author then proceeds to state in the following paragraph that the ‘influenza vaccine cannot be administered at the same time as school Bacillus Calmette-Geurin (BCG) vaccine as a minimum of three weeks should be allowed between the administration of two ‘live’ vaccines (DoH, 1996).

I would be grateful for the author’s comments on these contradictory statements. I accept that ‘live’ vaccines should either be given at the same time or, as the author states, with a three week gap. I wonder, however, how this relates to inactivated flu virus and why this presents any problem at all with a child receiving a BCG vaccination at any time subsequent to vaccination with inactivated flu vaccine (other than site usage).

REFERENCES:

Thornton H (2000) A simple influenza campaign for young people with diabetes. Journal of Diabetes Nursing 4(1): 8-11

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