Is the flu shot safe for patients with cancer?
the ONA take:
In preparation for the winter season, many people will go to their doctor or local pharmacy for an annual flu shot. “The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you,” say experts at Dana-Farber in Boston, Massachusetts. But should patients with cancer also get this vaccine?
Those same experts report the flu vaccine is safe for patients who have not had a stem cell transplant. Patient’s immune system is extremely weak during a transplant; however, there is a specific timeframe in which it is best for these patients to get the shot based on where they are in the transplant process.
Dana-Farber uses an inactivated virus, and encourages patients with cancer to receive their flu shot at the Institute. They also recommend that all patients be advised to talk to their health care team about their options.
Those same experts report the flu vaccine is safe for patients who have not had a stem cell transplant.
The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you. But will cancer patients benefit from the flu shot given their immunity and treatment status? It is safe for patients who have not had a stem cell transplant to get the flu shot, and are highly encouraged to ask their providers about their vaccination options. However, those who have had, or who are currently undergoing a stem cell transplant, should take extra precautions.
During a transplant, a patient's immune system is extremely weak. Therefore, each patient has a specific timeframe for when it is best to get a flu shot, depending on where they are in the transplant process. Unlike many providers, such as local pharmacies, Dana-Farber uses an inactivated virus, which is safer for patients. Patients are encouraged receive their flu shot at the Institute. If you are currently a patient and have been vaccinated in the past by Dana-Farber, you can easily make plans to be revaccinated.
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