Flu Vaccine in Young Adults with Congenital Heart Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension

By Tabitha Moe and Jeremy Feldman

PH Support GroupAs a young adult with congenital heart disease, it is important for you to take responsibility for your own health and well being.  Over the years your parents and caregivers may have made decisions for you.  As a young adult, you now are in a position to make your own decisions about your health and wellness. We are approaching flu season, a dangerous time for patients with congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.  People with heart and lung problems are more likely to have severe manifestations of flu.  As a result, it is imperative that you take action to protect yourself.

The flu vaccine is available to you in many places. You can get the vaccine at your primary care provider’s office, at an urgent care, or even at your local pharmacy or grocery store.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) advises everyone to be vaccinated.  The vaccine is an injection of inactive viral particles.  This means that you CAN’T get flu from the vaccine.  You may have some muscle aches, low-grade fevers and feel a bit run down for a day or so.  This is your body making an immune response that will protect you. It takes a couple of weeks to build your immune response to the vaccine.  So, don’t wait until someone you know is sick, get vaccinated today.