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Flu Vaccine Pros and Cons
Sep 14, 2003

What do you think: How necessary do you think it is that someone with HIV get a flu vaccine? Should someone on treatment also get a vaccine? Are there any dangers to flu vaccines?

Thanks!

Response from Dr. Wohl

I think it is a no-brainer. The flu vaccine is very effective and safe. Real flu, not that sniffle you had last year that you called the flu, is a major illness that kills (as in dead) tens of thousands of Americans each year. When you get it you become terribly ill with fevers, cough and body aches. All persons with HIV infection regardless if on therapy or not should get the vaccine unless there is an allergy or other medical reason not to.

Lastly, let me set something straight for the record: the flu vaccine can not give you the flu (unless you believe in life after death). See the vaccine is made from dead flu virus particles. It is not alive. You can get mild reactions but not the actual flu. I know, you, who believe not wearing a scarf can lead to a cold, doubt me but it is true. Roll up that sleeve, it flu season. DW



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