Fibromyalgia and Free Flu Jabs

Hi there, just wanted to check with others how their GP surgery is towards Fibromyalgia and flu jabs. Do you get offered a free flu jab? Our surgery is full of health awareness posters saying 'let's talk about flu' but I was pretty appalled when the duty doctor told me today that Fibromyalgia isn't one of those conditions that's recognised. I may complain to the practice but just wanted to know how widespread this is - thanks

34 Replies

  • I was offered one but it could have been due to other medical conditions. Can't have them anyway as my mum ended up in intensive care after one 🐸

  • Really? That's a bit alarming. I have heard some horror stories. I guess it's weighing up whether best to have the flu or the jab. I have had pleurisy in the past but a long time ago but am prone to chest infections.

  • Fibro is not a condition recognised eligible for flu jab, it is worth considering paying for it. I get mine free due to asthma and it really does help me x

  • Thanks Piglet. I have to say I asked the same question in a Facebook group and many people are saying they get the jab free for Fibro. Some have other conditions too but it looks to be a postcode lottery :(

    Others are saying they wouldn't have the jab because it made them or someone they know worse.

    Moggy x

  • Hi Moggy

    The flu jab is a placebo not a real virus, they ask if you have an allergy to eggs before you get it but if you feel the slightest bit under the weather then you shouldn't get it done as it causes a reaction which people mistakenly take as flu. GP told me you only get flu 2 - 4 times in a lifetime and you know when u have flu it keeps you bed ridden for a full three days. It has also been proved medically. It isn't an easy decision to make but I for one will continue to have it as I have for the past 20+ years x

  • Hi Piglet

    It's difficult because when I get a virus I am bedridden for days anyway as I'm sure many are with Fibro. It knocks us out more than others. I'm just coming out of a virus in fact when I was in bed for a week. It wasn't strictly flu because it was a stomach virus and ten days on from the start I still have a painful ear which is thought to be part of the virus. As I say every year I get one virus that makes me bedbound for a few days to a week. I think flu is more common than we think. But I agree, I think what some people are mistaking for the flu is either the side effect to the jab or that they were going down with a virus anyway! x

  • Its not a placebo as that would mean it had no active ingredient in it. It only protects against one or two types of flu. The ones considered to be most prevelant that year. So if there is another one flying about then you would get that one.

    I get the flu inoculation but have turned down the pneumonia vaccine as I'm told there is more chance of feeling unwell for a day or two and at the moment I can't contemplate feeling worse than I do.

    I get it free because my immune system is compromised. Dee

  • I never get them! Here (USA) it is not recommended for people with FMS to get them. A flu shot often gives FMS folks the flu or something pretty close to it! I'm also a little skeptical about the shots' effectiveness, because when the vaccine is developed they are only guessing at what the flu will be that year, and they are often wrong!

  • Thanks Meloha. Yes it seems from a similar question in Facebook Group that many people don't want it anyway. It seems the jury is out. x

  • I have been offered a flu jab as I'm over 65 but my OH had one last year and he had two bad bouts afterwards so i'm a bit wary 😟

  • Yes, I am finding that many are being offered it and some refuse it and there are people like me who aren't offered it and want it. My feeling has always been to be wary but my brother who has MS had it with no adverse effects but hearing people's negative experiences is making me have a rethink.

  • Hi, I have had a Flu jab for the last goodness knows how many years, and I've never had any problems afterwards. I got them free as I worked in the Health Care industry.

    Fibro is not on the list of illnesses allowed for free jabs, but there are a lot of other clauses that might allow a free jab. Ask at the Drs reception for info. Failing that, as someone suggested, you could get it if you paid for it, it is usually between £7 - £10 the supermarket and High Street Pharmacies usually compete with each other. There's no use you getting one now though as it is past the cut off date for them.

    Take care.

    GP. 😊

  • Hi GP, yes I've seen them advertised in the pharmacy, and was only enquiring at my surgery today because I was there and saw all the posters up about flu which reminded me - I was asking about it for the next season. But it's the principle of it; that some conditions get offered it for free in other areas eg many have said they get offered it free for Fibro and ME and also MS. It's a postcode lottery!

    Moggy x

  • I've had them for many years simply due to having young children and a farm with the now ex working away. I did have fibro though never mentioned until diagnosed in 2004. They do seem to be toughening up but in my tiny community all the medical staff know my history.

    I also had the pneumonia, hep something and meningitis.

    I've never had adverse effects, don't get flu or colds :-)

  • Thanks Telynores. I guess you get offered it for your other conditions. Glad it works for you anyway :) x

  • I didn't have other conditions, symptoms of fibro but no0one to take over my responsibilities if I was ill :-P I had a little OA but that wasn't an indicator for the vaccine either, nor is it now. Just lucky with my community I guess.

  • Yes, I guess. I also have a little OA. If I spoke to my normal GP maybe she would have said yes if I had asked but they haven't routinely offered it to me in spite of my history of chest infections. x

  • It sounds as though you might ask either the GP or practice nurse if you have a good relationship :-)

  • Yes, I've complained to the practice manager so will see what s/he says!

  • I had almost this argument with my GP this winter. The NICE guidelines have changed to include people with neurological conditions as being eligible for free flu jabs. However, she said it doesn't include people with ME, which although I was asking in respect of my ME, I'm assuming that would include fibro. She also said that as the jab contains a live vaccine it was too risky to give it to someone with ME. Personally I would have thought if that was the case surely that would apply to anyone who was eligible by virtue of being susceptible?!

  • Yes that makes perfect sense, Margaret (hope I remembered your name correctly!) Interesting what you say about the guidelines. And what do they class as a neurological condition? My brother gets a free jab for MS which is definitely a neurological condition but ME and Fibro have very similar symptoms. There seems to be much inconsistency and ignorance! Moggy x

  • Yes you did remember correctly thanks.

    I think part of the problem is that the guidelines changed to include neurological conditions in general and named a few and I think (though obviously brain fog may be at play here) that MS was one of the ones named. ME however wasn't. As far as I can tell it has just been left up to individual GPs to put their own interpretation on that.

    My GP was against it for ME for other reasons as well so just said she didn't think it included ME. She is a believer in the condition though and knows it at least has neurological issues so I don't think it was that she didn't class it as neurological.

    As you rightly say far, far too much inconsistency.

    Love your cat picture by the way. Very long limbs.


  • Thanks Margaret - that makes a lot of sense, and obviously it is open to interpretation.

    The ginger isn't actually my cat. It's one from my Pinterest cats board, lol, that perfectly summed up my flopped-out state! I do love cats though and my mum's cat is 22 years old, bless her. xx

  • I was offered one last year and they year before but I have osteoarthritis and possible inflammatory disease along with fibro. I didn't take it up last year as the year before my arm was painful for 6 months and I still got flu.

  • I get a flu jab but it is for other medical conditions. We ran a poll about this a few months ago, I have pasted you a link to this below:

    I want to genuinely wish you all the best of luck.

    All my hopes and dreams for you


  • Thanks Ken. I will have a look at the poll!

  • I only have one as on immune surpresents

  • I'm very unsure about the flu jab. Primary age children are offered it here in Scotland but my grandson who had it just before Christmas is in the middle of a bout of extremely unpleasant flu. Here looking after him as his mother has had too much time off work with her own flu. Washing my hands every five minutes and hoping hoping hoping I will stay free of germs.


  • Hope you stay free of germs too, Dee. It is a nightmare trying to steer clear of flu, isn't it?

  • Thanks FoggyMoggy. I've not had flu for 30 years. Bad colds and the rest but not the real thing. Just hope I'm not due for my next one if its right what someone said that you only get it 3 or 4 times in a life time.

    Here's to a flu free winter for us all.


  • The trouble is, Dee, coughs and colds often turn into flu for me because of all the complications. So I am always paranoid about them especially if I hear people coughing around me. It was after a bad cough that I got pleurisy twice, although this was years ago but I avoid them if I possible can, nowadays!

  • I am entitled to one due to another problem and had one every year until i had a massive fibro flare which struck 24 hrs after the jab.

    it left me is so much pain that i needed help to even get up out of the chair. I couldnt lift my arms high enough to even scratch my nose.

    I was diagnosed I few months later. It took 2 or 3 years to settle down to where i am now, a lot worse than before the jab.

    The thing is that i dont know if it was the jab or just coincidence. One thing do know is that i am now terrified to give it another go, even though the gps have warned me that with my other illnesses i would probably end up in intensive care.

    Oh and the reason i went to see the gp was muscle pain that was getting worse and while i was there he gave me the jab.

    I am gambling on the fact that i vary rarely get viruses and when i do they are gone within a couple of days.

  • I understand that, I don't know what I would do in your position :-/

    I too am generally not one who picks up random 'things' :-)

    I'm fairly healthy really :-P

  • Yes, I understand your dilemma and wariness after your experiences, Mayrose.

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