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 meningococcal human papillomavirus (HPV) pneumococcal What Else Should I Know? Your health care provider may order blood tests to check to 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. Back to Articles Related Articles Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic diseases that cause intestinal inflammation: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Although they have features in common, there are some important differences. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease It's normal to get a stomachache once in a while, but some kids have something more serious called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Find out more about it. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease Inflammatory bowel disease is an ongoing illness caused by an inflammation of the intestines. There are two kinds of IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Read More Inflammatory Bowel Disease Factsheet (for Schools) What teachers should know about inflammatory bowel disease, and what teachers can do to help students with IBD succeed in school. Read More Transition of Care: Inflammatory Bowel Disease Most teens with IBD should transition to an adult health care provider when they're between 18 and 21 years old. Here's how parents can help them do that. Read More Your Child's Immunizations Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy. Read More Immunizations Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little "ouch" moment protects you from some major health problems. Read More A Kid's Guide to Shots If you're old enough to read this, you've probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids. Read More How Vaccines Help (Video) Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.