If I have taken Tamiflu, should I also take the swine flu vaccine?Three weeks ago, I got some kind of flu, and the test from scraping my throat (not lab) was positive for swine flu. Because I have...

If I have taken Tamiflu, should I also take the swine flu vaccine?

Three weeks ago, I got some kind of flu, and the test from scraping my throat (not lab) was positive for swine flu. Because I have gotten pneumonia twice and flu almost annually, so they gave me the Tamiflu medication. Now, the school district have vaccine shots in November in school and recommends everyone to take it, but will the Tami flu conflict with the swine flu vaccine? Wouldn't the Tami flu already immune against the swine flu or substitute the swine flu vaccine already?

Expert Answers
stacyer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Roche (2009) indicated that Tamiflu is only effective in treating certain strains of the flu (influenza A and B). Since your doctor prescribed Tamiflu for the treatment (not prevention) of the Swine flu, the medication should have been effective in helping you get over the flu. Many times schools will accept a doctor's note stating that a patient has had the illness and this will replace the need to take the shot.

Just to clarify, Tamiflu is used in the treatment of flu and does not provide immunity. Your own body would develop an immunity to the flu on its own. If the school insists that you take the vaccine, Roche (2009) suggests waiting six weeks after finishing Tamiflu before getting vaccinated.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Tamiflu is an antibiotic used for treating people with swine flue. It is not a vaccine against swine flu. As a matter of fact, the antibiotics act in a way quite opposite to action of vaccines. While antibiotic help to fight and overcome an existing infection in the body, the vaccine acts by actually introducing an infection in the body. The infection is such that it is not harmful, but it is in some ways similar to the infection against which it provides immunity. The principle of vaccine is that once you get infection of one type the body develops resistance to that type and some other similar type of infection.

We now discuss the need for you to take swine flu infection. If you have already been infected with swine flu once, it is as good as being vaccinated against swine flu. There will be no conflict between the tamiflu you have already taken, and the swine flu vaccine you take in future. It is just that you have already developed the immunity from swine flu. I believe the swine flu will not have any effect on you, good or harmful. However it is a wise policy to avoid unnecessary medication.

If you school or other authorities insist that you get vaccinated, you can consult the doctor who treated you for swine flu, and if necessary, obtain a suitable certificate that you don't need to be vaccinated against swine flu.

rosie3866 | Student

Tamiflu is "NOT" an antibiotic as reported by krisha-agrawala. Tamiflu is a anti-viral medication that is used to treat and prevent the flu virus. (A&B) Antibiotics are used to treat "BACTERIAL" infections not a "VIRUS"....Big difference. Please consult your doctor with questions not these message boards. Another good resource is WebMD. Just because someone says they are a teacher doesn't mean they know everything. I have provided a link for you to check my facts. By the way, I'm a lab technologist and would "NEVER" instruct someone on wether to get vaccinated or not. Many people on these boards like to talk out of their arse!! LOL... Please, check with the people who really know you and your personal history. Take care and I hope you stay healthy. God Bless!! : )