Vaccination in Auto-Immune Diseases

We’ve spoken before about how important vaccination is for those with auto-immune diseases and as flu season is upon is, it is a great time to think about infection prevention. The annual flu shot is highly recommended to all patients on biologic therapy. It is not a live vaccine and therefore is safe to be given while on treatment.

The importance of vaccination for people with auto-immune diseases was highlighted at the American College of Rheumatology Conference that I recently attended. The risk of getting the flu, pneumonia and shingles is much greater in people who have conditions with elevated inflammation that are auto-immune in nature.  It appears that only one third of people who would greatly benefit from vaccines are receiving them, which is a much lower number than we would like to see.

Our clinic has developed guidelines for vaccination as well as tips for reducing infection risk.  It is available here or in hard copy at our offices. Please don’t hesitate to ask us for a copy.

Our pharmacist, Carolyn Whiskin, recently returned from The American College of Rheumatology Conference, the largest international meeting held for rheumatology. Over 15,000 health professionals from around the world specializing in research and the care of people with arthritis were in attendance. Today’s blog post is one several to come with information Carolyn learned at the Conference.

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