About the Shingle and pneumonia vaccine

We recommend you get your annual flu vaccine.

As for the pneumonia vaccine, this is typically recommended for those over 65 years of age unless patients are immunocompromised. Since you are on Copaxone, which doesn't suppress your immune system, I don't think you need to get it at this time unless otherwise indicated by your primary care provider.

As for the shingles vaccine, we recommend M.S. Patients stay away from live vaccines (such as the shingles vaccine) because it can potentially increase an immune response. Since you are on Copaxone this isn't as much of a concern since it doesn't compromise your immune system; although, there is still the potential for increased disease activity. We recommend each patient discuss the potential benefits and risks of this vaccine with her or his primary care provider.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Jocelyn E Doehler, NP

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19 Replies

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  • This is from my MS TEAM :)

  • Thank you Jes, very useful information

  • So basically no clue on the shingles vaccine ugh lol

  • Appreciate The information. Although I was just diagnosed this summer I've always received a flu shot and pneumonia shot. I received the shingles shot when I was 65. I just checked with my pharmacist last weekend and he said it was OK to have the flu and pneumonia shots but to avoid anything with live virus in it. Lynn

  • CalfeeChick l would make sure you tell your neuro that you got the Shingle vaccine and when. It might affect what treatment he puts you on? IDK but just in case.

    Last yr was the 1st time ever that l got the flu shot. I have never had the pneumonia vaccine.

  • Thank you, I will remind him..at next appt. I'm sure it's also on the binder of paperwork I filled out for them. Lynn

  • Let me STATE THAT THIS WAS WRITTEN FOR ME PERSONALLY. *CONTACT YOUR DR BEFORE YOU MAKE A DECISION*

  • Good info, Jes. Thanks!

  • My primary care doc explained to me that the older one gets, the greater your chances of getting shingles. However, he told me that you can only receive the shingles vaccine once (or maybe he meant that it's only effective once), so it's better to wait until I'm at least 65.

  • I'm seeing my primary doc in a couple week or so and I have to ask him for flu and pneumonia vaccines. I thought about having them at my pharmacy, but my PCP keeps a record in my file when I have my "shots". I also have to ask him about the shingles vaccine and vitamin D. Neuro recommended I talk to my PCP about these. Not sure if because I sat next to a woman who had shingles I'd be effected. Now that I read that MS patient shouldn't have a LIVE vaccine for Shingles, I'm really worried. Thank you for putting this up! Now I can bring this up to my PCP.

  • I hear ya jennie62 I love how this chat makes you ask questions about your care. And what questions to ask your doctor's. :)

    Just remember this report was written for ME, ONLY so ask your PCP, or NEURO.

  • I have had flu & pneumonia. My neuro said shingles was ok, so I am scheduling next week after I finish this round of steroids. I also take copaxone. I'm scared of shingles, so I'm going to bite the bullet! But I think everyone should find out how his/her doc has to say.

  • Aww AngieRowe what kind of relapse are you having? And lm scared of shingles to :)

  • Hey, Angie, good luck. Let us know how you do.

  • AngieRowe, I believe you should not have the shingles vaccine if you are on steroids. Check it out.

  • Yes, I'm waiting till after steroids. Thanks

  • My doc lets me have every 3 months as long as things look good, I call it my feel good juice!!! Helps with gait and vision.

  • Appreciate the information but my neuro told me "no" to both, as well as the flu shot. Don't mind much about the flu--every year my husband gets a flu shot and gets the flu, and I never get the flu shot and never get the flu. Shingles scares the heck out of me but my neuro said no dice to that one as it is a live vaccine; same as to pneumonia. So I am doing without and staying away from sick people.

  • Hi Sukie427 was just wondering where you were. Are you doing ok?

    This was on the advice of my Dr for ME. No one else. :)

    I think it has to do with alot of factors on what they want you to do.

    Ps l always stay away from sick ppl.... lol

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