Shorter days and cooler nights mean cold and flu season is coming, so it’s time to get your flu shot – especially if you have an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis or lupus.
Need a good reason to get your flu vaccine this fall? Here are THREE:
Arthritis Ups Your Risk
Autoimmune types of inflammatory arthritis affect the immune system, which may make you more likely to get the flu or become sicker with it than people without arthritis, says Eric Matteson, MD, chair of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Some Meds Raise Your Risk
Certain arthritis medications, including disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, biologics and corticosteroids, interfere with the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off the flu and leaving you vulnerable to complications.
The Vaccine Changes
Strains of the flu virus constantly change, so the vaccine also changes each year. Plus, your body’s response to the vaccine decreases over time.
Author: Mary Anne Dunkin
- Avoiding the Flu with RA or PsA
- Arthritis Patients: Get Your Flu Shots
- Myth or Truth: You Are At Greater Risk of Cold and Flu Because of Arthritis
- RA & Vaccinations