People aged ≥6 months who are immunocompromised are strongly recommended to receive annual influenza vaccine. 

Immunocompromising conditions include:

  • HIV
  • malignancy
  • functional or anatomical asplenia, which includes sickle cell disease or other haemoglobinopathies, congenital or acquired asplenia, and splenic dysfunction
  • chronic steroid use

People who are immunocompromised have an increased risk from influenza (see Vaccination for people who are immunocompromised).9,10 These people may have a reduced immune response to influenza vaccine, but vaccination gives them some protection.11

If a new influenza virus strain is circulating in the community, cross-protective immunity in the population may be low. For example, this occurs during an influenza pandemic. In these situations, people who are immunocompromised are recommended to receive 2 doses of inactivated influenza vaccine, at least 4 weeks apart, regardless of their previous influenza vaccination history. This helps achieve an optimal immune response.12 

People with HIV

People with HIV who have minimal symptoms and high CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts develop protective antibody titres after influenza vaccination.

People with advanced HIV disease and low CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts may not develop protective antibody titres after influenza vaccination.

Influenza vaccine reduces the incidence of influenza in people with HIV. 

Also see Table. Levels of immunocompromise in children and adults with HIV in Vaccination for people who are immunocompromised.

Page history

Last updated: 
7 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
7 June 2018