Flu Jab


When I went to the hospital last wk, the rheumy nurse gave me a little mexthotrexate booklet, that recorded the doseage, & blood results, next appt etc. The back of the booklet it answers some common questions and informs the recipient to have a flu jab.

I rang up the doctors last friday to get an appt and again today for the jab and was told I would be called up as I was "not on the original list?", they have therefore, they have put me on a list and I would be notified probably sometime in November.

My question is; "is this how it works?" You can't make an appt and just go and get it when its conveniet for you???? Will it be like this next yr?

Really confused and don't really know if I will get it, in the end. My meds are costing an arm & leg and now i have to pay for vaccinations??? It seems to me that although I may be entitled to receive the jab free? There does not seem to be any urgency to give it out, whereas if I pay for it I could get it tomorrow!!!

Cheers for listening


40 Replies

  • I am sure it will be better next year!, it is nearly november. I wouldnt pay for the jab it is one of the few free things from the great english NHS, as you and I know are prescritptions arent!, have you considered a prescrption pre payment card when you are on a lot of meds it can save you money xx

  • Sci, i think different clinics must have different guidelines - mine has a walk in clinic every monday afternoon - i was just starting a dmard and had a letter from consultant recommending i get it.

  • Hi Mads,

    It's the GP's that i was referring to, I was not aware that it was offered at the hospital?

  • ...last year I had to telephone and nag for a jab, this year I got a letter inviting me for the vacine. I think it's a matter of their records being up to date. As Alison suggests look into getting a pre payment card; I paid for mine for a year and I have to say it has saved me a fortune.

    Regards Mel

  • Hi Mel

    Hopefully this will also apply to me for next year.

    I have looked into getting a payment card, hubby is undecided. So, I guess I have to wait to he gets fed up of prescription charges. He seems to think that they will settle down and we won't need the pre payment prescription. Until then I just collect the receipts.

    Cheers Sci

  • If mine is anything to go by you only end up with more meds lol x

  • I agree also, but some men can be stubborn

  • Lol

  • If you get just 4 meds in a 3 month period that = £29.60

    A 3 month pre-paytment card costs £29.10, tell hubby to do his maths ...

  • This year it cost £104 for a prepayment card and it is invaluable to me. As yet i still have to pay for drugs, I have a minimum of 6~7 every month so it saves me a fortune. I think each drug costs about £7-40 each drug,you do the maths its a godsend to me. Ask the hospital if you have to pay for flu lab. I don't as i'm asthmatic(can't spell today)


  • Does as mads say sound like it varies between clinics, I had a return appointment with my GP the other Friday and asked the question whether I should have one, at which point he got out the injection and I had no chance to change my mind. I wasn't sent any letter but my Dmards aren't prescribed by the GP but the Hospital, so I may not be on their at risk list to get one.

  • As Summer mentioned earlier ,,,

    Pre payment card, heres the link, has saved me a fortune


  • me too

  • Thanks Pete

  • I usually get a note from my surgery to say time for the flu jab. They also have not quite a walk in clinic, but a dedicated afternoon for flu appts.

    The flu jab is free.

    Yes, do get a pre payment card, they are worth it. I get free prescriptions anyway because of thyroid disease which has been a bit of a blessing in disguise. At least it has saved me a fortune. But when still having to pay for prescriptions, the pre payment card was very useful and does save money.

    I am sure I read that there is a move afoot to give free prescriptions to people with chronic diseases like RA. Summer might know the answer to that one.

    lavendarlady x

  • ...is this true, I know there had been a bit of a back room fight going on trying to get free prescription for peaple with RA, would be great if something positive came out of this campaign.

  • Hi

    I read this somewhere on the net to, but I thought it was yrs away and just a proposal. I would imagine the cost to the government in this climate would mean that it was not a favourable proposal at this time - trying to reduce cost etc.

  • HI

    I shall wait for invitation letter from the GP's. I am at the docs next monday so will ask then also. Maybe my doctor might give it to me like NicolaP's consultant did for her.

    Not a big fan of injections, so thought I was being really brave in asking for it and trying to arrange before I lost my nerve. In theory i know its a good idea, just the needle jitters might get the better of me - here's hoping that I can keep my nerve until then.

    Many thanks to all

    Sci xx

  • When you see the doc ask him for flu jab,i did and got it there and then.

    Sylvia. xx

  • Hi

    | plan to, and that will be next monday.

    Sci xx

  • I normally get a invatation from my GP, however the first year I had too ask for it, also your hubby and family should be able to get a free flu jab. Tell your GP that they are involved in your care and he should understand that it will put you at less off a risk off getting flu, I know this as my GP asked me to get whoever was involved in my care to have the jab.

    On my first year I had to ask for the jab you will need a pnenomia one too If youve not already had one, but speak to your GP about that he knows better.

    I have an appointment for mine next week fingers crossed, as I was too ill when they had the open afternoons the past few weeks.

    Take care

    Julie x

  • Hi

    Many thank for your advice, I will eventually get around to asking for the pnenmonia. I am a real coward and thought I would take baby steps and have the flu first then make enquiries about the other - we'll see.


  • Hi

    I understand that, I was the same regarding needles not long back now I inject myself twice a week!

    Its just better to be safe as its so easy to pick infections up when on the RA meds.

    Julie x

  • Hi

    Does mtx compromise the immune system that much?

    I work in a school and there is always something going around - spread mainly by the kids, but the teacher do pick up the illness's

  • Hi well not sure it does for everyone but Ive been on Mthx and Enbrel ( for me they have been lowering my immune system too much)

    Ive ended up with six months off infection after infection, I only say be carefull as I had a chest infection that went onto my lungs and caused pluricy and I was in a bad way my GP said if I hadnt had my flu n pneunomia jabs it could have been a lot worse.

    Dont want to worry you but better to be safe, and as for the kids I have a large family lots off kids (not mine) nieces, nephews, cousins etc so Ive always got a little visitor with a sniffle etc, but I was ok on just the mthx it was just when I had both, but this isnt the case for everyone! I probably just akward as usual, dont mean to worry you lol, just better to be safe x

    Julie x

  • Hi,

    I work in a school too, i'm on Mtx, have been for over four years, i have always declined the flu jab, i don't seem to pick up the coughs and colds that go around school BUT last year my consultant thought there could be a link with the flares i tend to have in autumn and the the virus's going round school.

  • But yes I would agree its bette to be safe than sorry.

    Thanks Julie

    Joanne X

  • Different surgeries manage their jabs differently.

    My GP put's a big poster up on the reception desk asking at risk groups to make an appointment ASAP I had my jab early October. If you don't make an appointment you get a letter inviting you to make an appointment. I'm sure you'll only have problems this year.

    As for prescription charges. I paid just over £100 for a pre payment card, it saved me a small fortune as med costs are in excess of £55 per month so the card pays for it's self in no time.

  • You can have pre payment card and pay about 12pound a month by direct debit . My doctor filled a form in for me to say that in his opinion i should not have to pay for my drugs i now have free perscriptions so i would ask your gp if he has one of these forms he also filled a form in for me to have a blue badge even tho i did not get dla so it may be worth a mention my nurse at the surgary got these forms for me but i am sure that you. Can get them from the social office i hope that this is of some help xx

  • Hi

    Yes it is a help, do you work? I have a docs appointment this monday coming, I have the forms I could ask her to help fill it in form me.

    Cheers Sci xx

  • Update on pre prescription card!!!!

    Hubby has now said that I can go ahead and apply for one - yippeeee pep power how wonderful.

    Many thanks to you all


  • No do not work i had to finish but i am sure that the decision is purley down to gp for the blue badge he filled form in saying that i am unable to walk far without pain i think it was 50yrds and for prescription he said ra that needed life time meds x. I hope that you get on ok after all we go through so much and i feel that a little help is needed for us also xx

  • Thanks for responding so promptly.

    Many thanks I am definately going to broach subject with docs on monday.

    I'll keep you updated.

    Cheers Scixxx

  • Please keep me updated good luck just tell gp how you are and the probs that u have if gp wont hrlp you ask consultant dont give up it is only what u deserve xx

  • I'm in Scotland and had my flu jab at the beginning of October - but my GPs are really well organised and I was told t hat the practice manager has already ordered the vaccine for next year. They were having a flu clinic this morning and apparently get about 76% uptake from those entitled. I thought I'd see if my husband would be entitled to it as he is sort of my carer, but the nurse I was seeing about something else was inclined to think that we're both a bit young and he's not a registered carer. But its available in chemists, so I'm encouraging him to pay to get it.

    Last year my anti-TNF was delayed because I'd just had the flu jab. I asked the consultant about that back in September and she advised me not to mention anything at the day centre for anti-TNF unless they ask. In fact the NRAS advised me last year that as the vaccine is inactive there's no reason why we shouldn't have it and anti-TNF, but the hospital wasn't persuaded!

    But its still really worth not getting flu. Lots of people say they have flu when actually its just a bad cold. Flu knocks you out completely and what with all our other ailments etc inadvisable.

    Good luck all, XX

  • My doctors always call me and ask me if i want the flu jab, i have always declined as i have only ever had "proper" flu once in my life and that was years ago, long before i was diagnosed with RA. I agree with Cathy's comment that too many people say they have flu while they're at work, load of rubbish, you can't get out of bed when you have flu!!

    So i would say don't worry if you don't get a flu jab, it doesn't mean you'll definitely get flu.

    take it easy folks xx

  • Hi

    What you say is a fair comment. I am getting panicky about it as I have been in alot of pain. wouldn't want to cope with as well as pain. I have had a viral infection (a cold) a couple of wks ago. I had to cope with that plus the pain. I am thinking that if I get a chance to have it, I will definately go for the jab.

    Flu is a lot worse. Had it twice and both times (not with ra) I ended up in casualty. First time in my 20's and the second time in my 30's about 7 yrs apart. It not nice.

    Cheers Sci

  • Arthur, you mentioned that your doctor thought that maybe your flares may have something to do with you not having flu jab when the flu was going around (hope I make sense!) In Jan this year both husband and baby were ill with swine flu, within 2 days of coming out of hospital when my baby was better I was hit with my first flare (every joint) I think there is a link? I reckon my immune system went into over drive thus making RA worse...... I never got the flu though! what you think?

  • I'm not sure, mainly because i work in a secondary school and there are always illnesses going around,We did have kids off with the Norovirus last year, maybe that was the reason i was bad ?? I don't know why but i don't get the coughs and colds that everyone else gets and plenty of members of staff have to take loads more time off than i ever do.

    This half term i have been much better than the last two years, just very achy wrists from overdoing it around the house in the garden plus a few aching muscles from climbing on top of my shed on Sunday to cut down the next door neighbours triffid!! So i think anyone would ache from all the work i've managed to get done.

    I am really glad that I can still (at the moment) have a normal life.

    How about you, have you been ok since your bad flare?

    all the best

    Lyn (aka Arthur!) ;-)

  • sorry Lyn! arthur didn't quite fit with your pict now that I've looked :)

    I was diagnosed 6 weeks after flare and now I'm very lucky as I seem to have it under control, like you just achy bits here and there! although climbing the shed would be quite a task for me pre-RA lol I work in a college (going back next week after maternity) so have snotty sneezing teens all round me, we'll see what happens but after reading this blog I think I will get the flu jab as I was hesitating before, don't ever want to have a flare like that again....

    Glad your doing well also, long may it continue!

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