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10 Reasons Not to Get a Flu Shot: Learn the Truth Now!

10 Reasons Not to Get a Flu Shot: The Flu Shot is a Life-Saver for Lupus Patients, Other Autoimmune Disease Patients, and … well… Everyone!

White woman doctor giving female lupus patient a flu shot

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):

10 Reasons Not to Get a Flu Shot. (Or should you go ahead and get one)?

1) Don’t get the flu shot if you are not afraid of dying: Infections are among the top 3 causes 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

2) Don’t get the flu shot if you are a gambler: The 2018 – 2019 flu season caused close to 60,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the United States. Maybe you are not afraid of this high number.

3) Don’t get the flu shot if you are isolated and will never come into contact with another human for the next year: 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.

4) Don’t get the flu shot if you prefer to have a more severe influenza infection: 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 …

5) Don’t get the flu shot if you enjoy being on a breathing machine in the intensive care unit surrounded by COVID-19 infected patients: 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.

6) Don’t get the flu shot if your flu shot contains active influenza virus: However, the flu shot has never given anyone the flu = Fact!

7) Don’t get the flu shot if you are a “no vaxer” and there is no way to change your mind no matter what I say: The flu shot does not cause autism.

8) Don’t get the flu shot if your flu shot is made from eggs: You should still get the flu shot, even if you have an egg allergy. Most of today’s flu shots are safe for egg allergy sufferers. Ask your health care provider to ensure you receive the correct, safe vaccine.

9) Don’t get the flu shot if your flu shot contains live virus: However, flu shots do not contain live vaccine. You can get the flu shot on any of your immunosuppressant 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.

10) Don’t get the flu shot if you don’t care about hurting or infecting those around you: If you do not believe in getting the flu shot, 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.

Donald Thomas, MD


  1. What about People fully healthy and young crashing after vaccination with various autoimmunity?
    I am not speaking only of Covid vaccines, but other too.
    I know it is predisposition etc, but those People did have flu without crashing and then crash from vaccine.
    I am a statistical analyst and i realise all the weakness of prsenting individual cases, however, the link is there, the vaccine is addiitional risk.

    Having had 10-20 flus in my life and only very minor flare from one , very minor, i am skeptical.
    I dont have Lupus though, i have Sjogrens.
    I dont have immune deficiencies.

    My Sjogrens disease caused 15-20 years before onset of sicca and rheuma, severe neurological and psychiatric involvement that wasnt recognised.
    Took over 200 doctors and nobody even szggested anything Like that.
    I self diagnosed.
    Unfortunately i was late to finally get IVIG for severe Neuropathy POTS and encephalopathy, causing very bizare neuropsychiatric symptoms but Also severe POTS.
    i responded to IVIG amazingly well but after years of begging for help.
    Unfortunately too late as 40 days later my Sjogrens exploded and i developed Rapid onset sicca. Very severe. And rheuma.
    Sam battling now all 4 neuropathy,psyche and sicca and rheuma.
    Drugs not available and IVIG not given in Europe although IT helps tremendoudly.
    The doctors play its not all from Sjogrens even though its literally hard to find Sjogrens patient without neuropathy.

    My question to you Dr, although not lupus related i am at increased risk for that too, what do you find helping Sjogrens sicca? Research is do confusing because no drug that Works for lupus Works for sicca.
    It is very disturbing symptom if not mild and underappreciated.
    My rheumaatologist Said its not impscting my life quality, without asking me is it impscting my life quality. It absolutely does enormously. I am early 30 yr old with rapidly developed sexual dysfunction. How Will my glands look in 20 years of i dont stop disease?
    Aldo mobility impaired because neuropathy.
    Seems Like only IVIG Works for Sjogrens, sometimes.

    Do you have any opinion why is Sjogrens most hard to treat rheumatic disease?
    As per studies, not myself suggesting this. I barely ever Meet anyone ever reaching remission from Sjogrens.
    While i met thousands in remission from lupus scleroderma and RA


    • Janie: Sorry for the late response. I just noted this unanswered question.
      We usually start with someone who has dryness (eyes, mouth, or skin). If we suspect a possible systemic autoimmune disease, I would check for ANA, RF, anti-SSA, centromere antibody, CBC, chemistry panel, urinalysis, random urine protein creatinine ratio, ESR, SPEP.
      I would want some objective measurements of dryness, so I’d send to an eye doctor to check for dry eyes and check for dry mouth in my office.
      Another situation is if someone has an organ involvement that is typical for Sjogren’s (for example, interstitial lung disease, tubulointerstitial nephritis, low lymphocyte count, unexplained liver inflammation) and do the above labs.

      For a diagnosis of Sjogren’s, we are looking for evidence of autoimmunity (eg high positive ANA + RF, or a positive anti-SSA, or a positive anti-centromere antibody, or having any autoimmune disease already) PLUS find measurable evidence for dry mouth or dry eyes.

      I hope that helps.

      Donald Thomas, MD

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