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Clearing Up the Confusion - concerning the H1N1 Vaccine and Multiple Sclerosis

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm

Clearing Up the Confusion

By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D., About.com

Created: November 10, 2009

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board


As many have read, I am strongly advocating that people with MS get the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines, as many of us have decreased lung function that makes us susceptible to pneumonia, which is the biggest risk associated with infection from the H1N1 virus.

In response to my last blog post about the H1N1 vaccine for people with MS, I got the following comment: “I am hoping that the person you are responding to does not take one of the current 5 choices of medicines to help control their MS. As I am sure you are aware they work by keeping the immune system busy and therefore not attacking your own body. If they are on one of these treatments, then yes they do have a weakened immune system.”

Well, kind of, but not exactly. I will try to clarify the role of some of the drugs that people with MS might be on and what is means in terms of the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines.

NOTE: This article is NOT meant to replace the advice of your primary care physician or neurologist. You should discuss your decision to get a flu shot (or not) with your physician.

Continue to read (from the fifth paragraph) to learn who (using which MS medication) really should, who need to wait and/or who can, get the flu shot.

Stuart suggests that you read the entire article and speak with your primary physician.

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