Vaccines can be a concern for people with myasthenia. The good news is that most vaccinations are safe for people with myasthenia. Please note, people on immunosuppressant drugs should not have live vaccinations.

Autumn 2023 Flu and Covid Information

Flu Vaccination

The annual flu jab is safe for people with myasthenia. There is no evidence to suggest that having the flu jab can worsen your symptoms and the adverse consequences of contracting flu are infinitely greater than any possible adverse effects of the flu jab.

Chicken Pox and Shingles

For people on immunosuppressant drugs, either chicken pox or shingles can be extremely serious. Anyone taking immunosuppressants who thinks they may have either shingles or chicken pox should seek immediate medical advice.

Shingrix is a non-live vaccine, and available for those taking immunosuppression medication which is given as 2 doses, the second dose 2 months after the first dose.

Zostavax is for those not on immunosuppressants and is available to take as one dose.

Please note that if you have a thymoma, extra caution must be taken. Advice on the suitability of all vaccines must be discussed with your GP or Consultant before having the vaccine.

Further information on both vaccines can be found here.

Hepatitis B

There have been reports of the hepatitis B vaccine triggering MG, however, it is by no means certain that there is an association. The adverse consequence of contracting hepatitis B are infinitely greater than any possible adverse reaction of the hepatitis B vaccine, so it is worth speaking to your doctor and weighing up the pros and cons.

Nasal Flu 

The nasal flu vaccine is a live vaccine and should not be given to people who are on immunosuppressants. The live nasal vaccine is also hazardous to those around them who are on immunosuppressants.

Oral Polio

The standard polio vaccination is perfectly safe for people with myasthenia. However, there is a much less commonly used live vaccine (oral polio vaccine, OPV) which is not safe for those who are on immunosuppressed.

Yellow Fever

The yellow fever vaccination is contraindicated and should not be given to people with myasthenia.

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