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Should I get the flu shot if I have Sjogren’s?

 

The Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation has been receiving a lot of questions about if it’s recommend for a Sjögren’s patient to get a flu shot. Below is a past article from The Moisture Seekers about Sjögren’s and the flu vaccine.

"I recommend that most of my patients with Sjögren’s syndrome get a flu shot unless they are allergic to eggs, have had a reaction to the vaccine previously, or have other health issues that are a contraindication to the vaccination. But it is always best to discuss the vaccination with your physician.

The side-effects of the vaccine, including achiness at the injection site and very mild flu-like symptoms, are certainly an inconvenience. But contracting the influenza virus could cause Flu Shotsevere and even life-threatening symptoms for someone with an autoimmune disease. It could lead to a severe febrile respiratory illness that may mean significant time away from work and possibly hospitalization.

I prefer that my patients receive the vaccine in shot form rather than the nasal spray. The shot is inactivated virus particles, while the nasal form is live virus, so there is more risk of developing mild viral symptoms with the nasal administration. This risk associated with the nasal spray vaccination is higher if you are taking medications that can affect the immune system, such as azathioprine, methotrexate, or prednisone. Even still, most patients with Sjögren’s who take systemic medications may receive a flu vaccination, but, again, it is always best to discuss this with your physician before taking the injection."

 - Jody K. Hargrove, MD

 

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Comments

I was wondering if I could get the shot for shingles. My dad got shingles a year ago and continues to be in terrible pain. Shingles is something I know I don't ever want. 
 
I have Sjogarn's.
Posted @ Monday, October 15, 2012 12:38 PM by Connie Maggio
yes and also the shingles as I talked to my RA DR and he said yes on all D
Posted @ Monday, October 15, 2012 1:14 PM by delores
I have Sjogren's & also thyroid cancer metasteses - have taken the flu shot for 25 years. This year I had a reaction to it which lasted 10 days. Sore throat, aching joints, muscles, headache - hate to think of what I would have felt like if I had the full blown flu! Recommend getting the shot !
Posted @ Wednesday, October 17, 2012 6:07 PM by Star Deibler
I always have taken the flu shot, recommended by my doctor for I got every year pneumonia, sometimes 2 times a season, but also he recommended my husband to taken the flu shot to protected me and also himself :) Now I have had in al these years only one time pneumonia! It is necessesary for us because of the dryeness of our troath and so on!
Posted @ Thursday, October 18, 2012 10:07 AM by Alma Siereveld
The shingles vaccine is a little trickier--it is a live virus vaccine, so it can't be taken if you're taking immunosuppressive medications, which some Sjogren's patients need to take. For example, if you're taking Imuran or high dose steroids, you can't get the shingles vaccine.
Posted @ Friday, October 19, 2012 3:45 PM by Nancy Huerter
Was advised by my oncologist that patients with Malt Lymphoma should not take the shingles vaccine.
Posted @ Saturday, October 20, 2012 4:23 PM by
I had a reaction to the flu shot a few years ago and have been advised not to repeat the shot since by my doctors. I sufferred a mild red rash on the front body for a few weeks. I am not allegic to eggs yet my reaction is similar to an egg allergy reaction, I was told.
Posted @ Friday, October 26, 2012 1:55 PM by Adina Taylor
How about the pneumonia vaccine? Is that something a Sjogren's patient should do if younger than the recommended age? 
 
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Posted @ Friday, October 26, 2012 3:58 PM by Cathy Charles
I have always gotten flu shots and can't remember the last time I had the flu...until this past January! I was very sick. I figure it must be the immune suppressant drugs that "allowed" the flu virus to attack me. Also came down with a horrible bout of bronchitis. Will I get flu shots in the future? Probably...just that I could not believe this happened. Flu shots have always protected me!
Posted @ Friday, February 15, 2013 8:35 PM by Mary Beth
I was dionosed with Sojgrens over 10years ago,my bloods changed really quick last month and it was a bit of a panick,Iwas told to stop taking azathiropine, then was give Prednisone ijections one every other day,I dont understand how this will change things or how long I will be given it.
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The CDC itself in its guidelines for health workers states individuals with immune system issues should not get a live vaccine.
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:32 PM by gphx
I've never had an allergic reaction to eating eggs, but recently had allergy blood test that says I'm high on the list for egg white allergy. Should I take the shot? 
Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 5:11 PM by Kristy
I had never taken a Flu shot until two years ago and ended up in the hospital. I took one last year and ended up in the hospital again, then was diagnosed with Sjogren's in October. I will never take another, I prefer dying!
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Posted @ Wednesday, October 16, 2013 8:52 PM by Mary
I have both Sjogren;s and Fibromyalgia, but I don't all in the criteria for a flue jab my doctor tells me every time I ask.I spose I could pay for it privately.
Posted @ Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:55 AM by Annette Barsby
My problems started when I got the flu shot...every single time I get I get sick...Knock on wood. I have not been ill since last flu shot and this year I am staying away from anyone ill. And washing my hands constantly. 
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