Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment and Research
Immunizations for Children and Teens with IBD
- We recommend all standard vaccinations when possible.
- We recommend the flu vaccine in season. Illnesses such as influenza can trigger a flare up of Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis; preventing the illness may prevent a flare up.
- In general, children receiving 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP, Purinethol), azathioprine (Imuran), Infliximab (Remicade), or adalimumab (Humira) should NOT receive live virus vaccines. Live virus vaccines at this time include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Nasal Flu (Flu mist), and Chickenpox.
- A person is not likely to benefit much from getting a vaccine while taking high doses of prednisone. The prednisone prevents the immune system from learning to recognize the vaccine well. Wait to give the vaccine at a time when the prednisone dose has been tapered down or ended.
- A person may have a decreased response to a vaccine received while on low dose prednisone and 6-MP or azathioprine, but overall, people will still have benefit from these vaccinations. Consideration will be made for an increased dose of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) immunization on teenagers or for a four dose schedule for children and teenagers on 6-MP or on azathioprine / Imuran.
- The standard precautions for giving vaccinations still apply. A person should not receive a vaccination during moderate to severe illness or if they have previously had a severe reaction to a vaccination.