Transplant Patients Need Protection Against the Flu

Flu transplant patientsWith winter only a few months away, flu season is rapidly approaching. The flu, or influenza, can be deadly for transplant patients. Because you have a chronic disease and/or are now taking anti-rejection medication, you are at an increased risk of getting the flu.

Research has shown that flu vaccination is the most effective way to reduce complications and deaths related to influenza. Don’t be caught without your flu shot!

If you had your transplant at least three months ago, it’s time to roll up your sleeve and get protected now. If you have not hit three months yet, be sure to ask for it during your three-month follow-up visit. To protect you even further, others in your household should also get flu shots or FluMist. (NOTE: Transplant patients should receive an injectable vaccine, a shot, and not FluMist [administered through the nose], which is a live flu vaccine).

Please be advised that it may take up to two weeks after getting vaccinated to build up your protection, so sooner (after three months post-transplant) rather than later is best!

In the past, if you avoided the flu shot because you are allergic to eggs, there is good news. This year, for egg-allergic individuals, there is a non-egg-based flu vaccine so you too can be vaccinated. Talk to your doctor or coordinator to learn more.

It’s time to roll up your sleeve, and take your family or housemates with you to get their shots as well. Make a commitment to get your flu shot to ward off the flu this year. We, at the Emory Transplant Center, are all getting our shots to protect you as well.

Remember, we’re all in this together.

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