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Has anyone heard of the flu vaccine awakening dormant MS symptoms in someone who didn’t have MS?

Has anyone heard of the flu vaccine awakening dormant symptoms of MS in someone who has not been diagnosed with MS?

  1. Hi LeeNee, while that may have been suggested at one time, the current recommendation is to always get the flu vaccine. In fact, there is greater chance of MS getting "woken up" by actually getting the flu than by getting the vaccine, so getting the vaccine is often encouraged. Many people report having the MS appear after a major illness (basically, the illness gets the immune system ramped up and active and then, because of MS, it keeps fighting long after the illness, with no illness to fight, it attacks the myelin surrounding your nerves). So anything you can do to prevent an illness, like getting the flu vaccine, is very important.

    1. LeeNee, Many years ago the flu vaccine used a live virus which allowed the body's immune system to activate against it. What you have heard is probably in reference to that. In fact, the nasal spray used the live virus format. However, the Centers for Disease Control is no longer advocating the use of a live virus and you can always request specifically the killed virus version for any flu vaccine campaign. There are multiple forms of the flu shot available due to sensitivities. As Devin stated above, taking the shot is strongly recommended for MS patients however because the benefits of taking the shot vs. not taking it and having the flu far outweigh the disadvantages or risks of the vaccine.

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