A web-blog (formerly known as Stu's Views and MS News), now published by MS Views and News, a patient advocacy organization. The information on this blog helps to Empower those affected by Multiple Sclerosis globally, with education, information, news and community resources.
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Monday, December 16, 2013
Flu Shots and Multiple Sclerosis: Should You Vaccinate or Not?
Written by Jeri Burtchell
The influenza vaccine is recommended for MS patients, but only if they receive it in shot form and are not taking steroids.
Flu season is upon us, and people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are once again debating whether or not to get vaccinated. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), they absolutely should.
“The injectable flu vaccine, which is an ‘inactivated’ vaccine, is recommended for everyone over six months of age,” the NMSS states, “It has been studied extensively in people with MS and is considered quite safe.
"The injectable flu vaccine may be taken by people who are taking an interferon medication, glatiramer acetate, mitoxantrone, natalizumab, or fingolimod. However, it is not yet know whether the vaccine is as effective for those taking natalizumab or fingolimod.”
There is no chance of catching the flu from the injectable vaccine because it uses a dead virus. This is unlike the FluMist® nasal spray, which uses a live, replicating virus. The NMSS does not recommend the nasal spray for MS patients.