Travel Medicine / Vaccination / Immunization Expert Forum
flu vaccine safe for me now?
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Questions in the Travel Medicine forum are answered by Dr. Philip D Parks, affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health. Topics covered include disease prevention, finding a doctor abroad, food and water safety, illness and injury abroad, mosquito and tick protection, resources for travelers, traveling with children or pets, traveling with special needs, vaccinations and immunizations.

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flu vaccine safe for me now?

I was recently diagnosed with lyme disease in the early disseminated stage. I have completed one round of oral antibiotics and am on my second and am feeling slightly better but not completely. I want to know if under my current circumstances it is safe for me to get my yearly flu vaccine as I have asthma and work in a hospital setting where I am at risk for exposure. Thanks very much for your responses.
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

This a great question for your treating medical provider who knows you and your health the best.

In general, people with mild illnesses should receive the vaccine. However, it is early in the influenza season so your provider may elect to wait until October or November to recommend the influenza vaccine--after you have completed this second course of antibiotics.

From the CDC vaccine information sheet (VIS):
"People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting flu vaccine. If you are ill, talk to your doctor about whether to reschedule the vaccination. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine."

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-flu.pdf

Does your hospital require you to accept the influenza vaccine?

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
2 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, the vaccine is required. I am just concerned that the vaccine may make the lyme worse. Lyme is such a tricky disease and with all the medical politics behind it I'm almost scared to breathe. Thank you very much for such a prompt response. I appreciate your help.
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