My son is starting Kindergarten this week and had to have some vaccinations. While in the doctor's office I mentioned that we are going to start his Deflazacort this week-end. They said that was fine they could go ahead and give him his shots. It seems that if he had already started the steroid they would not be able to give him the the MMR or the varicella. Apparently, since the steroids suppress his immune system he might become sick from the vaccine itself. Also, they were out of the varicella (it should be in today) and said they would have to give it later. I reminded them that once you start steroids you don't stop so if he's going to have it they need to do it now. My concern now is how long do we wait to start the deflazacort after the varicella. The nurse said what she had read did not address that issue as if it didn't matter. But I don't want to take any chances. We are definitely not starting it this week-end (Labor Day). Would the week-end after be safe? Has anyone else run into this when their child was starting school? And what about flu shots? Are those safe to give while on steroids?
Thanks,
Lisa

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We didnt run into it when starting school as Justin wasnt diagnosed yet. When he had to have some booster shots last year, he was able to get all of them except the chicken pox booster. He is on prednisone, and we were told to avoid all live vaccines. A flu shot and a pneumonia shot is a MUST in my opinion. While on steroids, they are immunocompromised and need to be protected as much as possible from pneumonia, the flu and other respiratory illness. The flu can turn into a major thing.

--Samantha
Yes, before starting steroid, Dr. Wong advised us to have MMR and wait 4 weeks prior to the start. We just did that. Per her advise, any vaccine that has 'live' culture should not be given to our kids. A protein based vaccines are fine. Flu shot also has 2 varieties and need to choose the one that is better for our kids. She highly recommends to have the flu shots.
There is a certain dosage level below which varicella vaccination is considered "safe." We spoke with our clinician's pharmacist about this, but I can't remember the exact numbers now. Rule of thumb is that if you want the vaccine, do it before starting the roids, but there are still some cases where it is possible. The dosage he would be getting at kindergarten age is probably okay, but you should still check with a pharmacist well versed on this issue.

As I understand it, our boys on steroids also should not be exposed to any children who have recently had a live vaccine (eg. varicella). Has anyone else heard this?
I had to give Kelvin all of his shots and TB test, prior to starting steroids. Also, Flu Mist (the spray kind in the nose) is not ok with steroids according to Dr. Wong's office. Also, as mentioned by someone else, live cultures aren't ok. They did say up to 2 flu shots per year spread out would be good. I do not know how long after shots you have to wait, I waited a few months, just because. They never told me that. Thanks, Michelle
I just asked Dr. Wong about shots when we were at our appt a few weeks ago. Our pedi said that they are doing chicken pox boosters, especially since we had a bad breakout in the area last year amongst vaccinated children. She didn't think my other two children should get the booster, and Dr. Wong verified that. So no "live" boosters for anyone in my house.
Thank you all so much for the information. We will definitely wait 4 weeks before starting the deflazacort. And, I will make sure he gets his flu shots.
Lisa
Lisa Tepper said:
Thank you all so much for the information. We will definitely wait 4 weeks before starting the deflazacort. And, I will make sure he gets his flu shots.
Lisa
Just be aware that all flu shots do still contain mercury. Be sure to weigh that into your decisions. I know, so much to remember and think about . . . even if you DON'T have a kid with DMD.
We just started my son Avery on Deflazacort last week. (He is 4). We visited Dr. Wong in April for the first time and she advised us to have his MMR, varicella and TB test done at least 4 weeks prior to starting steroids. We had them all done at his 4 year check-up in early May and opted to wait even longer as a precautionary measure.
Like Lee Ann said, you can test for titers before giving any boosters (MMR, Chickenpox). I would do that anyway before giving a booster shot - why give you kids additional vaccinations if their bodies are already making sufficient antibodies?
Hi Lisa,

I just wanted to add to what Jerry D., said about the Flu shots still having mercury in them, that is true and I think it's sad that doctors are not as concerned about it as we are. A good friend of mine told me about an alternative that alot of people do not know about, it's called the Flu Mist. The Flu Mist is admininstered in the nose and is mercury free. Ask your doctor/Pediatrician about it and don't let them tell you they have never heard of it. Not only is it mercury free, it's a great alternative to getting a shot with a needle. I just wanted parents to be aware of this option. Hope this helps you. God Bless you, your family and your son.

Suzanne
Just be aware that our boys cannot have the flu mist because it is a live virus. I also would not allow anyone in my household to have this as per Dr. Wong.
Mindy,

I think you misread my post. :)

Avery did have his TB, MMR and varicella. I just waited longer than the recommended 4 weeks after having the vaccinations to start him on steroids. These vaccinations are necessary for our boys.

Mindy said:
Like Lee Ann said, you can test for titers before giving any boosters (MMR, Chickenpox). I would do that anyway before giving a booster shot - why give you kids additional vaccinations if their bodies are already making sufficient antibodies?

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