Current recommendations for people with a neuromuscular
disease (NMD) are for the ANNUAL FLU VACCINE and PNEUMOCOCCAL
VACCINES. Even if you already get the flu vaccine you should talk
to your GP about getting the pneumococcal vaccination as well. If
necessary please take the following information with you and show
Household contacts of people being treated with
immunosuppressive drugs, for example, corticosteroids should also
Before initiating corticosteroid therapy, immunisation
against varicella (chickenpox) should be considered.
For more detailed clinical information
How do I get the vaccine?
These vaccinations are available through your General
In NZ at risk populations including those with NMD are
given the flu vaccine free.
Current funding for the pneumococcal vaccine is
limited and there may be a cost associated with this. If you are 17
or younger and being treated with immunosupression drugs (for
example corticosteroids) you should receive this vaccine free
of charge, please see the table below to see if any other risk
factors apply to you. Adults 18 years or older are not currently
funded but the vaccine is available to you. Please talk to your
If you are 17 or younger and have any of the following
complications then the pneumococcal vaccine is available free of
Table sourced from
Vaccination Recommendations for Patients with Neuromuscular
Published in 2014 in Vaccine by a group of Italian Scientific
Societies these recommendations have been made because
neuromuscular disease (NMD) include a wide variety of conditions
and because they share a common increased risk of infections which
have a serious health impact on individuals, vaccination is the
simplest and most effective way to protect NMD patients from
NMD patients can be classified into two groups according to NMD
based on their level of immunity and be vaccinated accordingly.
Patients with normal immunity who do not take immunosuppressive
therapy can be vaccinated as healthy subjects.
Patients who are immunocompromised, including those who are
taking immunosuppressive therapy, should receive inactivated
vaccines as well as the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines; these
patients should not be administered live attenuated vaccines.
For all NMD patients, the efficacy and long-term persistence of
vaccines may be lower than in normal
subjects. Household contacts of immunocompromised NMD
patients should also be vaccinated. For the full text
article that this information was sourced which includes details
about what the current recommended vaccination programme for
various NMDs is please