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The Swine Flu: Information For Our Patients, Especially Those On Immunosuppressive Treatments

Image - Photo of Michael D. Lockshin, MD
Michael D. Lockshin, MD
Attending Rheumatologist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Director, Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease
Image - Photo of Theodore R. Fields, MD, FACP
Theodore R. Fields, MD, FACP
Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Image - Photo of Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR
Stephen A. Paget, MD, FACP, FACR
Physician-in-Chief Emeritus, Hospital for Special Surgery
Stephen A. Paget Rheumatology Leadership Chair
Barry D. Brause, MD
Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Regarding the H1N1 ("swine flu") vaccine:  Patients on immunosuppressive therapy should use only the killed vaccine (injected) and not the live, attenuated (inhaled) version. Speak with your rheumatologist about whether this vaccine is appropriate for you.
  • If you are about to begin an immunosuppressive agent, discuss the H1N1 vaccine with your rheumatologist.
  • The H1N1 vaccine is now available to the entire American population, other than children less than six months, if felt appropriate by their physician.
  • The seasonal influenza vaccine you may have received in 2008 or in 2009 is not protective against this swine flu infection.
  • We will be following the Department of Health recommendations.
  • Keep up to date on the swine flu at the Centers for Disease Control website: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/index.htm.
  • Another useful source is the New York State Department of Health website: http://www.health.state.ny.us/.
  • For those in the New York City area, the NYC Department of Health also has a helpful website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/home/home.shtml.
  • Another useful website is: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.
 

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