question and answer
Vaccine use in people on steroids
February 2004
"If a patient is on low-dose steroids, is it contraindicated to immunize with dead-virus vaccines (i.e. flu, hepatitis, meningitis)?" wonders IRENE D'SOUZA, MD, of Toronto, ON.
Corticosteroid use at any dose isn't a contraindication to using inactivated ("dead") vaccines, although with high-dose steroids the immune response may be inadequate. Live vaccines are generally contraindicated in patients who are immunosuppressed. Those on low doses of corticosteroids may be eligible for some of these vaccines, but you'll need to consult with a specialist in that field to do an individual risk-benefit evaluation. KL
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