Every year, I hear it from both my neurologist and my primary care doc: “You need to get a flu shot. You need to protect yourself, especially when you have MS.” But – is that true? I know a lot of people question the necessity – even the advisability of injecting one more thing into an already ravaged system.
There are those who will tell you that when they’ve gotten the shot in the past, they’ve gotten the flu. I asked about that and the docs assure me that while that may have happened in the past when live vaccine was part of the shot, it can no longer happen because there is no live vaccine in the current shots. You may, however, have a temporary increase in your temperature or even feel a bit “flu-like.” That, however, is not the flu, but rather a reaction by an already over-reactive immune system, registering the presence of yet another foreign solution.
Which reminds me – you might be thinking about getting out of another shot by going for the nasal mist. DON’T DO IT. That is LIVE vaccine. You may well wind up with not only the flu, but a relapse. Nope – if you’re opting for the flu vaccine and you have multiple sclerosis, it must be in the form of the injection. And if you’re in the midst of an exacerbation – wait until you’ve stabilized.
It’s safe and it may well protect you not only from the flu itself but from a flare. So why do some people choose not to get the flu shot? Needle phobia. Belief that they could contract the flu from the flu shot. A need to limit their exposure to even one more medical visit. Whatever the reason – there are a good deal of folks choosing not to get a flu shot. How about you? Will you be getting one? Why or why not?
Either way – here’s to staying healthy – whatever that means!!
Remember – it helps alleviate the stress, just to say F-U-M-S!!