February 8, 2023


I got a question about flu shots a prednisone warrior’s wife asked my husband is on prednisone and i’m wondering if he should be taking or getting a flu shot or not and if so what dose when should he get it and what matters so today i’m gonna answer her question and probably some other people’s questions about flu shots too i’m dr megan your prednisone pharmacist

Once upon a time about 10 years ago i gave 200 flu shots in one day 200 it was the craziest day and so i am a certified immunizer and it’s been a while since i’ve given one myself but i have given lots of flu shots in my pharmacy career about prednisone and flu shots first of all should you get one or not and it’s kind of confusing because prednisone can cause

Immunosuppression so does that mean you shouldn’t take flu shots or something here’s the answer there are different kinds of flu shots there’s the nasal spray and that is a live vaccine it’s made of a live attenuated influenza virus and that one isn’t really safe for people on prednisone but the injection the one that goes in your arm that one should be safe

For people on prednisone and because it’s not a live vaccine it’s what they call attenuated it’s like a killed virus and so it’s not as harmful for people on prednisone in fact it’s really good because it helps you to prevent what could be potentially fatal the flu you do not want to get it while you’re on prednisone because you’d have a hard time fighting that

You have a higher risk of pneumonia and other things because you are taking prednisone so we’ve talked about live versus attenuated you want to get the injection and the prednisone warrior’s wife her specific question was should he get high dose flu vaccine or not he’s over the age of 65 and that’s the only people who really need high dose and so yes he should

Get high dose because of his age it really doesn’t have anything to do with prednisone you can get the high dose vaccine if you’re over 65 pro pretty much no problem if you’re taking prednisone um and everybody on prednisone should pretty much avoid the the nasal spray so that was what dose of the flu vaccine what about the dose of prednisone does that matter

So if you are taking prednisone for less than two weeks and at a dose of less than 20 milligrams then you should just wait until you’re done with your prednisone but if you’re going to be on prednisone longer than two weeks then you should get the flu vaccine now there’s no reason to wait the only people who should wait are those who are going to be finishing

Within two weeks otherwise get your flu vaccine get it now get that production in you um but when should you get your flu vaccine now is a good choice because it’s in stock and with the epidemic it might not be in stock people might you know demand it and it might run out like it has in years past but as far as when is it most effective to get the flu shot it is

The very most effective if you get it in october if you get it before october that’s good you’re set and ready to go for the flu season but october gives you six months of flu season coverage there’s not a lot of evidence that the flu shot lasts longer than six months so if you get in august it’s gonna run out in in february and if it runs out in february there’s

Still march april of flu season that you need to fight so the very very best time is october because you’re getting it right before the flu season gets strong but enough time that it’s going to last so that was when to get it um another question people often ask is does the flu shot give you the flu and the answer is no but it makes you some people feel fluish

So you might get a little bit of joint pain you might get achy you might get a very very very slight fever that makes you feel like you have the flu but it’s not actually the flu it’s just your body’s immune response to that vaccine and unless you’re getting extremely high fever or really extreme symptoms it’s totally normal that is to be expected that’s your

Immune system doing its job and so no that’s not the flu and you’re good it’s working but does the flu vaccine sometimes not work yeah the thing about the flu vaccine is they have to guess like a year to six months in advance of the flu season what the flu is gonna look like and that means they have to guess how the virus is going to replicate and that’s kind

Of tricky they can guess wrong and it’s all based on what the flu was like on the other side of the world and sometimes by the time it’s gotten all the way to the northern hemisphere it’s changed and it doesn’t match anymore and so some years it’s a really great match and you’re really glad that you got the vaccine and other years they missed you know the

Scientists guessed like they shot in the dark and their bullseye was a little off they were over here instead of smack dab in the middle right so sometimes you know you might think oh the flu vaccine doesn’t work it it’s not that it doesn’t work it’s that that year they didn’t guess as well as they should have or as they magically should have so yes the flu

Vaccine works but humans are trying to predict virus behavior and that’s really hard to do so it doesn’t mean the flu vaccine doesn’t work it means their guess wasn’t as good all right finally am i gonna get it and the answer is yes i’m gonna take me and all my kids and we are going in october to get our flu shots because i have no desire to have a bunch of kids

With the flu and wondering is it flu or is it coveted is it flu or is it copic nobody knows so i’m getting my flu shot my kids are getting in the flu shot we’re all getting the flu shot so are you gonna get your flu shot i’d love to know and if this has been helpful to you please share it please like it please subscribe to my channel signing off as dr megan your prednisone pharmacist

Transcribed from video
Prednisone + Flu shot or not? By Dr. Megan – Prednisone PharmacistliveBroadcastDetails{isLiveNowfalsestartTimestamp2020-09-18T140010+0000endTimestamp2020-09-18T140939+0000}