The flu vaccine for APS patients in the UK

The flu vaccine is available now at most GP practices in the UK. As APS is a long-term condition, the majority of GPs advise that we have the vaccine. If you do chose to have the flu jab, most APS patients do not have any adverse reactions and it is considered safe and effective. However, if you are taking warfarin, it is important to monitor your INR a day or two afterwards as the INR can increase slightly.

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27 Replies

  • Thank you for this post! I came to the computer, intending to post this very question but - no need as you have already answered it!

  • Hi, I thought the new flu vaccine has the swine flu vaccine added on,not really keen on having the two in one.Does anyone know if this is correct?

  • Hi Elfie - Here is a link that will take you to the EMC website which will tell you all the information you need to know about the vaccine including what is in it.

  • Hi Elfie - I've had the flu jab for the past ten years or so and never had a problem with it. I had a bout of swine flu before the vaccine was added (back in 2009 if I remember rightly) and would rather have the whole lot than have that again. Although, to be honest, it wasn't much worse than any other 'proper' flu I've had - no hallucinations but a stonking chest infection.

  • Thanks Kate. I work in education and we have an excellent health and wellbeing nurse who happens to be highly knowledgeable in APS. For the last 4 (?) years we have been offered the flu vaccine through work and I have taken up during the last 3 years. If it is offered again this year, I will have it again.

  • That's good to hear about your wonderful nurse - I really think awareness is slowly spreading within the medical profession. I've had the flu jab for the past ten years or so and never had a problem with it.

  • As if by magic an email was circulated amongst the staff yesterday advising is of the next round of flu jabs early next month. I dashed off and signed up, can't afford to get the flu!!

  • LOL about "as if by magic" - I was a huge fan of Mr Benn ... Glad you're signed up - I'm having mine first thing tomorrow morning :)

  • Hi All

    Sorry to be the odd man out here. I had the flu jab in 2008 & 2009 and I was washed out for 6 weeks each time. It was like having 40% strength flu for 6 weeks.

    I read somewhere that flu jabs were bad news for APS patients for this very reason; I wish I could remember where I read it.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience to me?

    My GP offered me one this week and I declined.

    Best wishes.

    Dave x

  • That's really weird Dave - St Thomas' have always recommended it. I had mine first thing on Saturday morning and feel absolutely fine - however, I do have asthma as well so catching flu is not really an option for me ... I hope you stay germ free during this winter - I find travelling on plague trains one of the easiest ways to catch any lurgy going ;)

  • My GP current and last one, decided it was a bad idea for me, due to the extreme way my over active immune system behaves. so it is not for everyone! Mary F x

  • Yes, I am only making this comment from a point of view for APS patients - people with other autoimmune conditions (eg. thyroid disease, lupus etc) should check with their GP or surgery first.

  • I understand that, I was more replying to Dave really. I am lucky in that my GP surgery is well informed about my entire family, and my last GP watched films of what happened to me with various things and also date sequenced photographs.. Due to late diagnosis my immune system is too over active now to tolerate most drugs. Also some good clinical history taking! MaryF

  • That's what seems to happen with me Mary. I could hardly function for 6 weeks after each jab. Dave x

  • I have never had one, I and they would not dare, they have seen what happens to me with both groups of antibiotics now, and also the reaction I had to Plaquenil and now to various insects and wasps..My GP said no, I was not suitable! MaryF x

  • I've been told by the surgery that APS isn't a qualifying condition for the flu jab :-(

  • I'm afraid we're in postcode lottery territory again - some surgeries do it automatically while others don't. I've heard that you can pay for it at Boots but am not sure how much it would cost.

  • Hi Kate,

    You can buy the vaccine from Manor Pharmacies as well but, if you are on warfarin, only some of their pharmacists will administer it. For me it would mean a trip across into the next county. I still think its a good idea to have it done though- just wish our surgery would do it (even if I have to buy the vaccine myself!).

    Wish me luck!


  • It's all so tedious isn't it?! Out of interest, how much does it cost? Just remember to keep an eye on your INR range for a couple of days afterwards, as the vaccine can can sometimes affect it (as does almost anything when you're taking warfarin!). Good luck H and keep us posted x

  • Manor staff were very good and very thorough in checking through everything for me. The vaccine itself is £10 and there's no problem getting the prescription filled, it's just the administering that they have to refer to a more experienced pharmacist. Never straightforward, is it?

    I'll let you know what happens.


  • Hi,thanks for answering, looked at the website but still not sure about having 2in 1 injection, I have lupus as well,I had a flare after the last one. Could have been a coincidence I suppose,

  • Hi Elfie - if you have lupus as well, it would be best to check with Lupus UK to see what they say. I am only commenting from an APS point of view - Lupus UK are very helpful:

  • When I was in A&E on Friday night (promise we weren't ear-wigging but it was really quiet so we could hear the conversation in a public area) I heard a patient advise the doctor that he was about to have a flu jab. It sparked my interest as I'm having one soon but the doctor was amazed and gave him the "why on earth would you want that?" talk. The guy was a teacher so it made sense to me but the A&E doctor seemed really anti-flu jab!

  • I have had the flu jab each year for at least ten years as my then GP insisted I have it. Never had an adverse reaction but know it works as when my son was still living at home he had flu two years running and neither me or hubby (he has flu jab too) caught it. Yet I used to have it most years.

  • I finally decided to take the jab this year for the first time. No immediate reactions but was really quite ill after 2 days and for a few days following that and had an extreme dizzy event in the last few days. None of which are necessarily related. But.........

    I have APS and some other auto immune issues. Lupus and scleroderma.

  • The thing that made me 'volunteer' on this occasion was the massive health reorganisations that are underway. I reasoned that the reorganisations were likely to present a greater risk than the jab. That was my thinking anyway

  • I've had the flu jab every year since 99 due to other health problem. Had it this year had an upset stomach but otherwise no side effects. I'm offered it as I'm diabetic and have TM didn't think to ask if APS is on the list all our surgery says is 'a long term health condition'

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