The Flu Shot is a Life-Saver for Lupus Patients
It's that time of year again. Time to get your flu shot! I already got mine, have you gotten yours. Here are some important facts about the flu shot, infections, and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE):
- Infections are the 3rd most common cause of death in SLE and most are preventable with measures such as vaccines. Learn of the importance of preventing infections in Dr. Thomas' Lupus Secrets
- The 2018 - 2019 flu season caused close to 60,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the United States.
- Fortunately, with the public practicing social distancing, hand-washing, mask-wearing, etc. due to COVID-19, hopefully we'll see less influenza. However, we still need everyone to get the flu shot. Getting COVID-19 plus influenza would be deadly.
- The flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu by 50%, but if you get it, you are more likely to have a less severe infection as per the below ...
- People who get the flu shot are 82% less likely to end up in the intensive care unit. SLE patients are 60% less likely to die compared to people with SLE who do not get vaccinated.
- The flu shot has never given anyone the flu = Fact!
- The flu shot does not cause autism.
- You should still get the flu shot, even if you have an egg allergy.
- You can get the flu shot on any of your lupus medications. However, prednisone greater than 40 mg a day will decrease your response to the vaccine. If you are on Rituxan, try to get it 4 weeks before your Rituxan dose.
- If you do not believe in getting the flu shot (shame on you), at least get it to protect the ones you love. This is one of the main reasons why we health care professionals get it. We want to lower the chances of spreading it to our patients.
Please get your flu shot. The life you save may be your own.
- Don Thomas, MD