Immunizations and IBD
Why Do Kids With IBD Need Vaccines?
All kids should be protected from the diseases that immunizations can help prevent. But children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a greater chance of getting infections. So it’s very important for them to get all their immunizations on time.
Your health care provider will go over your child’s immunization records and give the needed vaccines as soon as possible.
What Vaccines Shouldn’t Be Given?
Chickenpox, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and intranasal flu vaccines contain live viruses, so can’t be given to kids who take medicine that weakens the immune system, such as biologics. Whenever possible, live vaccines should be given before starting immunosuppressive therapy.
What Vaccines Are Safe for Kids With IBD?
Vaccines that do not contain live viruses should be given according to the recommended immunization schedule. Because these vaccines don’t contain any live viruses, they can be given even if kids are taking medicine that weakens the immune system.
These vaccines include:
- diphtheria, tetanus & pertussis
- influenza (flu) shot, not the nasal spray
- hepatitis B
- hepatitis A
- human papillomavirus (HPV)
- COVID-19 (5 and older)
What Else Should I Know?
Your health care provider may order blood tests to check for antibodies. Antibodies are proteins in the blood that show if a person is protected because they have had the vaccine or the infection.
Vaccines are safe to give to kids and teens with IBD and won’t make their symptoms worse.