Hi, does anybody know if it is advisable to have the flu jab and pneumonia jab if you have ra, and taking methotrexate and hydroxyl and steroids. Everyone including the doctor and chemist seem to think it is important to have, but when I visited the rheumy at the hospital, one doctor advised me to have them, but the doctor who was treating me told me I do not need them. Has anyone else been told not to have the jabs, or do you think it is important.


42 Replies

  • Hi, I'm on sulphasalazine and methotrexate for my RA and I had my flu jab a couple of weeks ago with no problems, I hope this helps.


  • I think it needs to be a personal & informed decision. I've been having the flu vaccine since before RD started as my h is diabetic & it's recommended that anyone living in the same household as an at risk person has it. I'm called for one by my Surgery in my own right now with having RD though. I don't have the pneumococcal vaccine but really it needs to be your personal informed decision. Maybe a read of this will help you arthritisresearchuk.org/~/m...

  • Not only adviseable, but I think its recommended if you are on MTX or other immune suppressant meds. Its only live vaccines that are out, but as always, check with your GP. Different areas have slightly different criteria for the flu jabs.

  • I've been having annual flu jabs for the last 10 years..was on mtx for most of that time. Can't remember if my GP recommended it at the onset of my RA or following a heart attack shortly after. Anyway, I've never had a problem with the jabs nor have I had flu either, or if I have it's been very mild. Had a pneumonia jab several years ago, was fine with that too.

  • I'm on Humira and had flu jab 6 weeks ago just before startd Humira. No problems. Clemmie

  • I am on sulpha and mtx and have had ra for 11yrs now and i have been advised to have my flu jab and i had mine at the begining of the month.xxx

  • I Was just talking to a friend about that today. I need to ask my rheumatologist if it's okay. I'm taking Enbrel , methotrexate injection, Hydroxychloroquine and Fosamax.

  • Hi----- I started mxt and hydrox last week and was advised to have both injections-- sore arms next day but otherwise no issues. Good luck.

  • My GP insists I have my flu jab - never had any problems

  • Most vaccines have mercury in them and with a weak immune system already why would any of us want to put a dose of flu or any other sickness into our bodies? I can't stand all the hype on flu vaccine at the doctors, I know the doctors get £5 or more for each person vaccinated, maybe that is why.

    Big Pharma are only interested in their income. Take Ebola, been around since the 70's and never heard of - UNTIL Big Pharma could make a killing on vaccines. Do some internet research in how people have been worse off taking them.

    Have a germ free winter eat an apple a day keeps the doctor away! :)

  • Mmmm. The ingredient you assume is in this years flu vaccine is thiomersal, a preservative which contains ethyl mercury. This is c&p'd from a statement released by WHO from the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

    "Expert consultation and data presented to the GACVS indicate that the pharmacokinetic profile of ethyl mercury is substantially different from that of methyl mercury. The half-life of ethyl mercury is short (less than one week) compared to methyl mercury (1.5 months) making exposure to ethyl mercury in blood comparatively brief. Further, ethyl mercury is actively excreted via the gut unlike methyl mercury that accumulates in the body."

    BUT, & that's an intentional big but, please, anyone who has had or is considering whether to have the flu vaccine & has been alarmed by the reply posted by above please read the following link ovg.ox.ac.uk/flu-vaccines

    Personally speaking I would rather have a slightly sore arm for a day or two than be at risk of succumbing to the most virulent form of flu each year. The old wives tale that the flu vaccine gives you a dose of flu gets me. How in all that's holy can a dead virus give you flu? Injected flu vaccines only contain dead virus, and a dead virus is dead - it can’t infect you! There is one type of live virus flu vaccine, the nasal one, but in manufacture the virus is specially engineered to remove the parts of the virus that would make you feel as though you have flu.

    True, GP Practices receive funding for each at risk person vaccinated, they are called enhanced services. It's nothing unusual for Practices to be paid extra per head for some services. Diabetes clinics, baby clinics, well woman/man clinics etc...... all are funded per head, it's one of the ways the NHS pay for Practices to exist. The call for more people to have the vaccination follows a world wide push by WHO, not pharmaceutical companies, to increase uptake in people being vaccinated & is in no way that a bad thing. I certainly wouldn't welcome a possible pandemic such as was experienced in the UK in 2009, remember, swine flu? Would anyone wish to have flu, whichever form it cloaks itself in?.....not me, with or without a weakened immune system but it's particularly important to be reliably informed, especially so those at increased risk.

    And finally, no reason not to eat apples, they're a healthy snack option but anyone who thinks they'll possibly prevent lethal diseases, well, eat all you like but don't tell your doctor that's your cure all!

  • I asked the nurses in the hospital if they have the vaccines and they said - no way! So ask them.

  • Whilst I was nursing I always had the flu jab and even pneumonia jab as I suffered with pneumonia once and ended up in intensive care. I thought that I was going to die. All the nurses in the hospital where I worked were offered the flu jab and the majority took it. and it had nothing to do with GP surgeries being paid to give it. It was all to do with the fact that when you are working with sick people, you do not want them to catch flu as it can be fatal for those with a compromised immune system, something that many of us already have due to taking our RA medications. I most certainly would not want to catch the flu whilst taking Humira as it could kill me. Eating an apple a day will certainly not protect me! Clemmie

  • When you have a compromised immune system, you don't have to pay for the flu or pneumonia jab. All the nurses I know have their flu jab, several of them have RA and wouldn't dream of not having one.

  • I worked in a non medical position in Primary Care. All our staff were offered, even required to have the flu vaccine before the patients started coming in for theirs. Oddly, the pneumococcal vaccine wasn't considered necessary.

  • My friend is an administrator at the local doctors and she won't have it! Just do some research before taking anything into your body then you can make an informed decision.

  • I was an Asst PM & I did! In my position I obviously dealt with such issues & recording of stats & saw no point putting myself at risk through my job for the sake of having a jab. This was before I had RD & I'm even more susceptible to such diseases now so wouldn't ever not have it. I've not read or heard of any reliably sourced conclusive evidence to suggest, if you want to avoid very real or even fatal repercussions, that the vaccine isn't safe & effective.

  • I always have flu jab. Methotrexate compromises immunity

  • Vaccine will also protect other vulnerable people you might be in contact with. Flu vaccine is not a live one so won't compromise treatment, but catching flu may well

  • I was strongly advised to have both jabs, since immunity is seriously compromised on Methotrexate, Enbrel and Prednisilone. So I had them. I also had the Shingles jab. Being 70 I qualified for that. Hope that helps.

  • I was strongly advised to have both jabs, since immunity is seriously compromised on Methotrexate, Enbrel and Prednisilone. So I had them. I also had the Shingles jab. Being 70 I qualified for that. Hope that helps.

  • I had my pneumonia jag when I was first diagnosed. Don't need it again as rules have changed. I got my flu jag 2 weeks ago as it flagged up on my record that I was immune suppressed due to Mtx. No problems. Had it the last 3 years and other half gets it as well. Again no problems. My RA nurse always recommends it. Think it depends who you talk too.

  • I was also advised by my consultant to have both. She made it sound as though I could be at great risk if I didn't have them. I am on all the same meds as you. Still plucking up the courage to book myself in, middle name 'coward' !!

  • My rheumy nurse and GP have always pushed me to have flu jab and it has never been questioned when booking in - now late 40's but have had them for quite a few years. Pneu.. jab also done. I was in for a blood test last week with the practice nurse when the GP came in for some flu injections. First thing he asked was whether I had had mine - I'm sure he was ready to pounce and inject if I said no. Only thing I am careful with is if my neutrophils drop I ensure they are back up before I have it. Farm

  • I get it as I was told I must by my Rheumy due to the meds we are on and our already compromised immune systemstems, really not worth catching Flu

  • Hi i have had both flu and Pneumonia (pardon the spelling) jabs and on 20mg sub cut methotrexate and had no side affects whatsoever go for it! The benefits outway the negatives.

  • I had my flu injection two weeks ago. As I have done every year for free. Go to see your G.P or Rheum and ask to be put on the list afterall you do have a problem with your immune system.

  • Hi masymae,

    Immunisation is an important issue for people who have RA. The recommendation from the National Patient Safety Agency is that flu vaccination and Pnuemovax are safe as they are not live vaccines. Live vaccines should not be given to people on methotrexate. I have put a link to this information below for you and I have also included a link to the article on our website about immunisation:



    I hope this helps you


    Beverley (NRAS Helpline)


  • :-)

  • I had the pneumonia jab when I was first diagnosed with the flu jab, I have had the flu jab every year since, if I forget to make an appointment my GP chases me up.


  • Hello,

    I was also advised that as MTX suppresses the immune system it would be best to have both the flu jab and Pneumovax. Had them both a couple of weeks ago with no problems.


  • TThankyou

  • I've always had a flue jab, and have had both together in the past, even whilst taking Methotrexate and Leflunomide. Currently on Prednisolone, Methotrexate injections and Leflunomide. It is advisable for anyone with a compromised immune system to have the annual flu jab, and the one off pneumonia jab.

  • Thankyou

  • Hi I can only Speak for myself but if it helps I also have RA & on Methotrexate while I was having a Blood test at Doctors. Inquired about Flu jab & was given it there & then the Nurse told me that it was advised to have it due to my Medical condition. That was over 1 month & to date have had no ill effects.

  • Thanks

  • This is my fifth year on the flu jab. Would not want to miss it. Used to get rotten colds and flus that would settle into my chest requiring antibiotics. Since I get the jabs the cold season is no longer a dreaded time.

  • Thanks for your reply, its good to hear that it is ok to have this jab

  • I am on all of them and I have my flu jab

  • I have mine

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