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Old 02-05-2016, 12:42 PM
MS Yoda
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 968
Default Vaccinations for PWMS, Use Caution!!!!

A word of warning for MSers who, like me, may not be aware that not all vaccinations are necessarily safe for PWMS. In general, a person with MS should check with a knowledgeable MS specialist before getting ANY vaccinations, in particular vaccinations using live attenuated virus. This includes some flu vaccines, shingles and yellow fever. NMSS does provide guidelines concerning vaccinations at: although their opinion is based on MSers using one of the immune therapies. I specifically donít agree with their opinion on the safety of the shingles vaccine and at least some neurologists in my area agree with me.
IMO, the safety of vaccinations in people with MS has NOT been thoroughly studied.

Having said that and on advice from my neurological dept., I recently received the flu, pneumonia, hepatitis A, hepatitis B booster, and typhoid vaccinations as a preventative measure prior to rituxin therapy. All of these vaccines use an inactivated virus. So far, the only side effect Iíve noticed has been a pair of incredibly sore shoulders. Fortunately the CDC has recently determined that a single yellow fever vaccination provides immunity for life, mine was reasonably current. Most of these vaccinations are not required for people living in the US, however I may have occasion to visit Africa sometime in the not too distant future for which they are recommended.

I tried to get these vaccinations 3 weeks ago however on that day I had had a steroid injection in a bothersome hip joint and was told by the immunization nurse that I needed to wait at least two weeks because steroids can interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccines. Now I need to wait at least 2 more weeks after the vaccinations before I can start the rituxin therapy and another two weeks for a little beach and ocean vacation time. Hopefully I can start the actual rituxin infusion the second week of March.

Thanks for the well wishes Suebee, I am excited to start this therapy, I wish I could speed it up. And Linda, I truly appreciate your speaking up about your rituxin experience, perhaps others will also. Iíve talked to several MSers who are undertaking this therapy and so far no one has reported a bad experience.

Take care all,
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