Should I get the flu shot if I have multiple sclerosis?

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Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist

If you have multiple sclerosis, it's imperative that you get a flu shot. Multiple sclerosis can put you at high risk for complications from the flu. Such complications can be very serious, sometimes requiring hospitalization or even causing death.

While not the most “natural” method, there is evidence to suggest that having a flu shot will reduce your chance of being infected with the influenza virus. The current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control are that everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine. There are some caveats with multiple sclerosis (MS):

  • If you are in the middle of a relapse or are on a course of steroids, you should not have a flu shot. 
  • People with MS should not get the live “Flu­mist” aerosolized nasal vaccination. 
  • If you are on Tysabri (natalizumab) or other immunosuppressive therapy for your MS, you should not have a flu shot.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.