pneumonia vaccine shortages: Hi I am new here and just... - NRAS

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pneumonia vaccine shortages

PaulRI profile image
15 Replies

Hi I am new here and just been diagnosed with PsA.

I am just waiting to start my methotrexate medication, but consultant wanted me t have the pneumonia jab first, while i was having blood tests and chest xray.

I contacted my GP and was bluntly told that they was no way of getting the jab they did not have any in.

So I booked one through Boots which i was told only covers 13 strains of pneumonia and the one the GP can get hold of covers 23 strains. Pharmacist confirmed with GP they could not obtain a vaccine and then gave me the one they stocked at a cost of £70.

Has anyone else found this to be an issue? where the GP say no we cant get them but not sure if they even try getting them?

15 Replies
Potatos profile image
Potatos

I've been waiting for a booster jab for a year. I ask every time I go for bloods but never any stock.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone

Look on psnc.org.uk.......it explains the shortages

PaulRI profile image
PaulRI in reply to AgedCrone

Thanks for the link i have had a look on there website and it does state to get the vaccine for high risk people, are we high risk?

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to PaulRI

Ask your rheumy nurse...probably not.....but maybe as you need it to take a prescribed drug.

PaulRI profile image
PaulRI in reply to AgedCrone

I have sent an email to the Rheumy nurse to see what she thinks and she will ask the consultant if needed. all i need now is the hospital to phone me with my meds to start taking them, signed everything had bloods and chest x-ray just a waiting game now.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to PaulRI

It all seems a bit of a palaver..but it will be well worth while once you get the meds & they start working.You are fortunate that you can email your rheumy nurses...mine will only take take phone messages....& they will only call patients back on Fridays.....so it’s tough luck if you phone on a Monday in agony!

I just don’t bother!

PaulRI profile image
PaulRI in reply to AgedCrone

I am not sure what response I will get as it goes to the gen rheumy email I think which is not direct to the nurse. I am not sure who picks the email up. But last time I emailed the consent form I was told it would be forwarded on to the nursing team. So it like a middle man/woman per say. But your system to have to wait all week is a little crap. Don’t they do any urgent referrals or anything?

Oh and yeah can’t wait to start the meds but there is still a little nervousness about it all and remembering the dos and don’ts and remember to have a blood test every two weeks at first. Then the thought of what happens if...... I know I shouldn’t think like that but it’s how we are programmed to think sometimes. But fingers crossed that it’s all worry for nothing and when I uncross my fingers I will just say ‘ouch’

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to PaulRI

As far as I can make out ....each Rheumatology department in every hospital has their own system ......my hospital system seems to be run by the nurses for their convenience to fit in their annual leave. Thankfully....I very rarely need to contact them ....except to book my infusions but each time I ask for the nurse who has been assigned as my rheumatology nurse I get a recorded message saying she’s on annual leave....so I end up speaking to the rheumatology pharmacist.....who contacts the Consultant...& off we go .

When you first start a new medication you do need to stick to the system of having your blood tests at the right time ...so get yourself a wall calendar and put a big red blob every day your blood test is due...& make the appointment ahead of time.

Quite often the worst that happens is you feel nauseous for a few days/weeks..If you can possibly manage to get past that stage ....often drugs suddenly start to work well overnight.

But try to take your mind off it..book your bloods & get on with your life....don’t let the RA overtake you.

What you often read here is often from unlucky people who don’t find a suitable drug regime quickly.......unfortunately those who do well on their drugs....don’t say so often enough...we are off living our lives quite happily.

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix

There has been a european wide shortage since last year. Largely due to Covid as demand for it has skyrocketed, and it is also being trialled in Covid treatment research. Stocks should have started to appear this spring, but obviously not!

You should have had the 23 strain, so a shame your GP didn’t make more effort to find one for you. But I guess they felt better to have something before you start MTX rather waiting a bit more, as you’d mount a better response.

But why did you have to pay for it?

Here’sthe info:

gov.uk/government/publicati...

PaulRI profile image
PaulRI in reply to helixhelix

Hi HH, thanks for the reply. Yeah I thought there would have been more of an effort to obtain a vaccine from somewhere, as i replied before the guidelines are there is a shortage but if someone is high risk you must get one. but the question then is are we classed as high enough risk.

The pharmist did say if after 2 months of having this jab, there was one available from the GP i can have it. But i have had to pay £70 as its classed a a private vaccine. The only one they do for free is the one at the GP, any others have to paid for. The link that AgedCrone sent states that the jab should be available in Jan 2021 and stock should be returning to normal and can be ordered so i guess that has not happened, and there be some ingredients unavailable no doubt.

And the within your link HH it does state that PPV13 should not be used in place of PPV23? Also they should be able to procure stoke from other source i.e. GP's across the country to help vaccinate high risk groups!!

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady

I had to wait quite a while for my pneumonia jab but wasn't asked to delay starting Methotrexate so I had mine over a year after starting DMARDS. Do you know if your consultant had a particular reason for having the jab first? He/she might have just thought that it was convenient for you to get it while waiting for the tests results.

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix in reply to Boxerlady

Presumably same as with all vaccines - more likely to mount a better immune response if you are not on other drugs like MTX. I had mine before starting.

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to helixhelix

I'm sure that makes sense. Sadly, my consultant mentioned it but wasn't insistent, my GP looked it up in her "bible" and said that I didn't need it, I was told at my 6-month consultation that I DID need it by which time the GP was out of stock.... Finally had it several months later after much nagging on my part 🙄

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix in reply to Boxerlady

They now recommend we get boosters, rather than it being lifelong protection.so maybe start nagging again in a couple of years....

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to Boxerlady

I was on Mtx for years & I have never had a pneumonia vaccination...guess I won’t be getting one this year ether!

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