Question: Should I get a flu shot even though I have rheumatoid arthritis?
Answer: A flu shot should absolutely be taken by every rheumatoid arthritis patient on a yearly basis. The flu vaccine is a vaccine where the active agent is not a live virus, so there's no danger of getting the flu from taking the vaccine, even if you're taking drugs that depress the immune system. Influenza's such a serious and life-threatening disease, particularly for patients who are on immune-suppressing drugs, so it's really important that all rheumatoid arthritis patients get their annual flu vaccine.
And they should also get a pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against serious complications of pneumonia, the most common form of pneumonia. And this is done on a single dose, to be repeated maybe seven to ten years after the first dose.
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