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flu vaccines and viral load increases

Feb 7, 2001

I work in a medical center where we follow infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women and mothers. The infants, kids and teens are seen in the pediatric/adolescent clinic along with a specialist who follows the pregnant women. The mothers are followed in an adult HIV specialty clinic. When we administer the flu vaccine to our adult patients, we ask that they have their RNA PCRs drawn before they are vaccinated to avoid increases in their RNA PCRs. We do not follow the same protocol with our children andpregnant women. I understand that the flu vaccine can cause temporary increases in viral load, but is this immediate? That is to say would it make a significant difference if the RNA PCRs were drawn on the same day as the flu vaccine, should the RNA PCRs be drawn before or after the vaccine? Thanks!! San Diego, CA

Response from Dr. Holodniy

Although the practice of checking viral loads before vaccination is best, I doubt very much there would be any significant rise if you vaccinated and had them go get their blood drawn that day. In addition, those with undetectable viral loads are unlikely to have any acute elevations anyway. MH

undetected VL and safe sex
high free T4 index

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