Flu Shots and IBD: Why You and Your Loved Ones Should Get One

I don’t like writing posts where I tell readers what they “should” be doing. I’m not a doctor, and everyone’s situation is different. I prefer to share my experiences and hope they help someone else going through something similar.

But flu shots are different.

I’ve heard too many people say that they’re not going to get the flu shot because one time they got the flu from a flu shot. Or that there’s no point because the flu shot isn’t completely effective against all strains of the flu. These things just aren’t true.

It’s especially important for those of us with IBD to get the flu shot. Since so many of us have weakened immune systems due to our medication, the risks of getting really sick from the flu are higher. This article from Oshi Health, which quotes one of my former gastroenterologists, discusses some myths and facts about flu shots and IBD. Bottom line: “For most IBD patients, the flu vaccine is safe, effective, and a recommended step to take each year.” (Of course, I would always recommend talking to your doctor, since there can be exceptions.)

It’s also important for those around you to get vaccinated. Herd immunity helps those who cannot get the flu shot. This New York Times article makes a good case for getting the flu shot to help protect others.

I will be getting my flu shot today at work, and I hope you’ll get one too.