Vaccination Health Concerns

  1. Hi all, I want to preface that I'm not "anti-vaccination." I have an auto-immune disease and I've been medically advised not to get any further vaccinations or I could have a very adverse reaction. I know that vaccinations are mandatory to get into nursing school and I understand why.

    Does this issue squash any hope for me to become a nurse? I would ideally like to work in some sort of clinic on the other side of nursing school that would be appropriate for me but I feel discouraged that there may be no possible way for me to get there. Is this the case? Thank you!
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    About brookebart

    Joined: Jun '18; Posts: 1
    from PA , US

    7 Comments

  3. by   Wuzzie
    Difficult to answer. The school might be okay with it but each clinical site would have to okay it too. Then finding an employer willing to allow medical waivers might pose a problem. You might be able to get titers drawn to prove immunity but it's unlikely that you've had the Hep B series and that's going to be difficult to get around. I don't want to discourage you but I think it's going to be problematic. It would be sad if you cleared it with the school but then couldn't complete clinicals or make it as far as graduating only to find yourself not being able to get a job. Then you also need to consider that you are more vulnerable to illness so is being a nurse worth the risk. I'm truly sorry you are in this position.
  4. by   markko
    Get a letter from your doctor listing the required vaxx that cannot be given and why. That should do it. Also include the vaxx you've already had before you stop receiving them. Make sure every required vaxx is addressed as previously given or exempt from the doctor.
  5. by   MunoRN
    There's no reason why you can't receive a vaccine with an autoimmune disorder. There are certain autoimmune disorders where a vaccine is less likely to be effective, but does not have any additional potential for harm. Some nursing schools will allow a physician's view on whether or not you should receive a vaccine, even if it's clearly based on ignorance, and some will only accept more believable contraindications.
  6. by   Leedeedee
    Quote from MunoRN
    There's no reason why you can't receive a vaccine with an autoimmune disorder. There are certain autoimmune disorders where a vaccine is less likely to be effective, but does not have any additional potential for harm. Some nursing schools will allow a physician's view on whether or not you should receive a vaccine, even if it's clearly based on ignorance, and some will only accept more believable contraindications.
    Actually if people with autoimmune diseases are taking immunosuppressant drugs such as azathioprine then they cannot be vaccinated with live vaccines. Here's more information and a list
    Vaccination Issues in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Receiving Immunosuppression

    Maybe you should research before telling people they and their doctors are ignorant
  7. by   fulitarn
    I work with a nurse who has a severe allergy and can't be vaccinated. We work in critical care and she just needed medical documentation, and what vaccines she had received. She does have to wear a mask during flu season. The hospital can do titers to see what you are and are not immune to as well.
  8. by   meanmaryjean
    Your biggest hurdle will be school. Students are guests of the clinical facilities- and must jump through every hoop presented. There are a lot of vaccine hoops.

    And if you cannot jump through these hoops, I promise you every school has dozens, if not hundreds, of qualified applicants who can willing to take your spot.
  9. by   MunoRN
    Quote from Leedeedee
    Actually if people with autoimmune diseases are taking immunosuppressant drugs such as azathioprine then they cannot be vaccinated with live vaccines. Here's more information and a list
    Vaccination Issues in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Receiving Immunosuppression

    Maybe you should research before telling people they and their doctors are ignorant
    As your article points out, those receiving immunosuppressant drugs can and should still receive vaccines, what it discusses in the considerations of type (live vs inactivated) and the timing of vaccines.

    Patients with IBD who are on immunosuppression have shown good response rates against most influenza strains and should receive the TIV annually. Pneumococcal vaccination is recommended as a single-dose vaccine between ages 19 years and 64 years, with a booster at age 65 years in patients with chronic inflammatory conditions such as IBD and booster revaccination after 5 years. As immunogenic responses may be blunted in those on immunosuppression, vaccination should ideally be given before initiation of therapy. Tetanus and pertussis vaccinations are safe and should be given per routine guidelines. However, patients on immunomodulators, either as monotherapy or part of combined therapy with biologic agents, may not respond as well to vaccination; thus, vaccination should ideally be administered before initiating immunomodulator therapy. High-risk HPV serotypes correlate with cervical, penile, and anal cancer risk. Women and men up to the age of 26 years with IBD can be offered the HPV vaccine.The hepatitis A vaccine is safe and well tolerated, and it should be offered to all at-risk patients. Accelerated viral replication and fulminant failure can occur in those with chronic hepatitis B infection who are on immunosuppression. Patients should undergo vaccination, with postvaccination confirmation of serologic response. We recommend that nonresponders receive double-dose bivalent hepatitis A and B vaccination. Other inactivated vaccinations should be administered based on recommended schedules. Finally, live vaccines should generally be avoided among patients who are immunosuppressed, with the caveats delineated above in cases where the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks and with appropriate input from infectious disease or travel medicine specialists.

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