Should I have Flu vaccine this year whilst on Biologics? - NRAS

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Should I have Flu vaccine this year whilst on Biologics?

ellilu58
ellilu58

I've been offered a flu vaccine but I'm on Benapali. I don't normally have one because I've always had a reaction but with Covid around, just not sure whether to have one or not this year..any suggestions please? x

49 Replies
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I’m going to have one, and am on Enbrel ( the original version on Bnepali) and MTX. I’ve read that if you get the flu, and then covid you risk the covid being much more serious.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to helixhelix

Is it free in France hh?

helixhelix
helixhelix in reply to AgedCrone

Enbrel? Or the vaccines?

Enbrel costs me 50 centimes a month, but the flu vaccine has been a yearly battle to get for free. Both my rheumatologist and GP have written letters saying I should have the flu vaccine as part of my treatment for RA, so it should be free like the rest of my treatment. But the Health Service refuse every year and demand I pay £10 + £5 for nurse to inject it as I am under 65. It has become a point of principle for me, so I am gearing up for my yearly battle!

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to helixhelix

Do French Citizens In your situation have to pay? My friend ...a Brit 65+....lives in Italy & she has to pay.....but she has not got any health issues. She is wondering if she will be charged double after 1/1/21!

helixhelix
helixhelix in reply to AgedCrone

I’m treated the same as a French citizen... and all being well nothing will change next year as I have my resident’’s card.

Your friend should ask again as Italy has just launched a massive flu vaccination programme to take pressure off health service.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to helixhelix

Thanks.... I will have a word with her.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to helixhelix

Thank you for that...I don't know why I'm so hesitant about the vaccine..probably reading too many conspiracy theories that come up on FB..everyone's a medical expert on Facebook aren't they? LOL! xx

helixhelix
helixhelix in reply to ellilu58

The conspiracies circulating are just mad!!! If the world followed all the totally dumb idea on FB we’d all be dead by now....

I’m on a biologic. I’m having my jab next week. Personally I don’t want any problems getting medical care as it is going to be limited due to covid . The priority will be covid and boy will they be busy.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to J1707

Thank you for that xx

I've been on benepali since 2016 and had flu jab every year. In fact having flu jab tomorrow!

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to Duster1979

Thank you for telling me..I'm feeling better about it already --everyone on biologics seem to be having it! Phew! xx

I’m on Benepali and have the flu jab.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to Barrister

Thank you for letting me know that x

I’m in biologics, MTX and leflunimide- I get the flu vaccine every year.

Given the significant risk if you contract the flu and covid, my feeling would be if you can have the vaccine, take it.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to Eiram50

Thank you for that..you're all of the same opinion so I'll have it! xx

vonniesims
vonniesims in reply to Eiram50

Me too.

I’m on Tocilizimubab and booked in for Saturday ..

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to claireyj

Thank you for telling me that xx

Yes: you could end up with covid plus flu otherwise

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to allanah

Yes, I know...really don't know why I'm so nervous about it this year but you're right. Thank you xx

I have 2 weeks ago. Its vital really if like me you've had flu with 3 weeks in bed and 6 weeks off work and at age 28/30 I was so ill I went I home to mum and dad. It's a no brainer no way do I ever want that again. The Council used to do them for employees and why now so many years later I still have one.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to medway-lady

Thank you for letting me know. Yes, when I catch a bug it lasts for weeks. Rubbish isn't it? xx

I'm on Rituximab and just had infusions. I've booked my jab for 30th as I don't want flu.

If you're at all unsure please ask your doctor.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to Lolabridge

Were you not told you needed to wait to have the flu vaccine after a Rtx

infusion?

Check with your rheumy nurse,

Lolabridge
Lolabridge in reply to AgedCrone

I asked my nurse and was told 6-8 weeks after the last infusion so I booked for that.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to Lolabridge

Maybe things have changed because of Covid...It has been 1 month before & 3 months after in the four years I have been on Rtx.

I am waiting until November.....I don’t want to upset my infusions..but I am not working & can keep indoors until then if necessary.

Lolabridge
Lolabridge in reply to AgedCrone

I did ask specifically as I was leaving the Rheumatology Department after my last infusion and spoke to the most senior nurse (Matron actually!).

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to Lolabridge

There were discussions on this last year ....check on the search box.

Lolabridge
Lolabridge in reply to AgedCrone

Yes I know there were and I have read them. Unfortunately, the advice in that thread varies considerably. I am going to follow the advice I was given by my Rheumy nurse. I was told by my consultant last year that being on Rituximab reduces the efficacy of the flu vaccine anyway.

AgedCrone
AgedCrone in reply to Lolabridge

Exactly....the closer to the infusion the more the vaccine Efficacy is reduced.

But listen your rheumy nurse...she has your medical records...& knows what is best for you.

bpeal1
bpeal1 in reply to Lolabridge

My consultant last year said it was best to wait a couple of weeks after the infusion. I waited a month because of being away when the main GP clinic was and then having to wait for a catch up session.

Plenty of responses, but me too.. on biologic drug infusions and getting flu and pneumo vaccine.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to charisma

Thank you x

I always have one. I have to wait couple weeks after my husband has had his.He is 68 and I am 62.Told mine is a lower strain of it.Dont know if that's true or not.Has anyone else been told it is different to an older persons.My sister argues I should have same dose thou

Peggy76
Peggy76 in reply to Fra22-57

Your lucky I’m 82 on the vulnerable list but still have to wait until November ,beyond belief ,I’m lost as to know why 😘

Fra22-57
Fra22-57 in reply to Peggy76

Can you get it free from your pharmacy now instead

I’ve had one every year since starting MXT and then moving on to leflunomide. I’m currently taking Leflunomide and having Rituximab every six months. I’ve booked mine at the pharmacy for the first time (usually get it done at the GP’s clinic) as they seem to have it available sooner.

Morning! Yes, I am on Benapali and had it on Saturday. Its a good idea I think. Have a nice day.

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to Feank

Thank you! xx

I am on Rituximab & my Rhuemy advised me to leave a month between my Biologic infusion & having the Flu Jab.

Im on erelzi (biosimilar to Etanercept) and i had my flu jab yesterday. Have occasionally had a mild reaction but all is good today

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to Artroc56

Thanks for letting me know. x

Hi ellilu, what sort of reaction do you have to a flu injection? I would guess it would have to be pretty severe to to have to think twice whether to have it or not. Have you discussed this with your practice nurse or GP?

I have the flu inj. every year, I will take what ever is available to keep disease at bay! I too am on Benepali and Methotrexate and so far no problems. 🤞

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to Pythagorus

Thanks for that. The last time I had it, I was just really poorly - like the flu - which went onto to being a really bad chest infection. I may well have already had the bug but it made me scared to have another one again. But so many positive responses, so I'll definitely get one booked. xx

Yes I would think your doctors will advise it.

I'm taking Methotrexate and have recently added the biologic Remsima (Infliximab), and the advice I had at the last infusion was just make sure there is a gap of 2 weeks before or after an infusion, before the flu vaccine. This point was emphasised by the nurse.

It doesn't apply to the methotrexate - just the biologic.

bienassis

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to bienassis

Thanks for letting know xx

Firstly I would say you need to take the advice of your doctors if you had a reaction previously. My rheumatologist told me that I would only get the benepali if I had the flu and pneumonia vaccines, that it's part of the rules in my area. So I will be having it, and I will have the COVID one when it's available too

ellilu58
ellilu58 in reply to SueBaker

Thats really interesting to know Sue...thank you for that xx

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