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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