Children and adults fighting muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that limit muscle strength and mobility are at increased risk of serious and possibly life-threatening complications from the flu, so it's important that everyone stays informed and takes steps to protect themselves and their families. That's why we've created MDA's Flu Season Resource Center.
Flu is a contagious and serious disease, especially for those with neuromuscular disease and other chronic health conditions. For most of us, one of the first and best ways to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot (injection). There also is an intranasal form (sprayed into the nose) of the vaccine available. However, it's important to know that, in most cases, the intranasal form of the vaccine is not recommended for those affected by neuromuscular disease.
You should check with your doctor before obtaining any vaccine, especially if you're affected by myasthenia gravis, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, or if you're taking immune-suppressing medications such as corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, deflazacort, prednisolone).
If your current health coverage doesn't include seasonal flu vaccines as a preventive health benefit, MDA's Flu Shot Program can help. Through MDA, individuals affected by neuromuscular disease can receive a free flu shot through their local MDA-sponsored clinic, or they can receive reimbursement (up to $35) for the cost of flu vaccines received from licensed health professionals, including those located at retail pharmacies.
We can’t keep flu season from coming, but there’s a lot we can do to prepare and help protect everyone from its impact and complications. With this in mind, we've gathered the following information, recommended guidelines and resources to help keep you informed.
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