Which yearly vaccinations are safe for the MS patient? My primary doctor wants a flu, pneumonia and shingles vaccination, but I am not sure they are safe with a compromised immune system.
There is no single answer when it comes to vaccinations. Whether an individual should be vaccinated depends on their risk factors and age. You should discuss this with your doctor. Generally speaking all MS patients, even immunosuppressed patients, may receive inactivated vaccines as required by circumstances or on a regular basis. However, an immunosuppressed patient may not be able to benefit from an inactivated vaccine as well as required (i.e. you may not mount a protective immune response).
Live or live attenuated vaccines should be avoided in pregnant and immunocompromised patients unless required because of an epidemic. Remember, as an MS patient you ARE NOT immunocompromised unless you receive a treatment that could definitely or potentially create immunosuppression. Even then most patients will likely mount a relatively normal immune response to vaccinations.
Medications definitely associated with immunosuppression include chronic steroids (not just occasional steroids for a relapse), azathioprine, methotrexate, cyclophosphamide (cytoxan), mitoxantrone, cyclosporin and mycophenolate (cellcept) to name a few medications possibly associated with immunosuppression include Aubagio, Gilenya and Tysabri.
The list of live attenuated viruses to avoid if pregnant or immunocompromised include the following:
So the yearly injectable flu vaccine is safe and the one time pneumonia vaccine is safe
The Shingles vaccine is safe if your doctor does not think you are immunocompromised. It is also only recommended if you are over 50.
Here are previous blogs you might be interested in regarding shots for the flu and shingles:
PLEASE NOTE: The information/opinions on this site should be used as an information resource only. This information does not create any patient-HCP relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.
PLEASE NOTE: This information/opinions on this site should be used as an information source only. This information does not create any patient-HCP relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.