Pneumococcal vaccination - when and whether to have it - side effects?

Hi All. As you may have read from my recent blog my GP has asked me to have this injection because of reduced immune system. I had intended to but when I had the flu jab in October there wasn't any available here yet. I haven't made an apt with the nurse for this yet because I'm slightly dreading it and wondering if its really needed? I don't tend to get chest problems with colds and am broadly very healthy. The flu jab made my arm really hurt for about 3 days and I'm very busy next week with school workshops to run - husband on nightshifts and a rheumy apt a week tomorrow. I am thinking that I could delay it until my next blood test in 3 weeks time - sort of hoping it will be forgotten about actually but is this irresponsible? And does it give side effects similar to flu jab? Has everyone here on MTX been offered it?

21 Replies

  • Tilda,speak to your rheumy when you see them next week, i don't think a few days delay won't hurt. I had my done the year i got ra and it is a lifetime one and i don't remember it affecting me too much. Usually it is given with the flu jab,but that couldn't happen in your case.

    See what your rheumy says and then you will know whether you want to go down that route. Love sylvi.xx

  • Oh dear - thanks Sylvi - what a wimp I am being now. Its just that I've so much on at the moment. Sons both thick with heavy cold and the surgery actually phoned me this morning to say they've earmarked one in the fridge for me now! I know my GP wants me to have it so I will - just want to wait until next week is over and see whether the cold comes my way or not. I also don't feel like having any more chemicals coursing about my system really but I guess that's silly. Certainly don't want a sore arm on top of sore back. Just thought I'd ask if everyone automatically gets this as well as flu but I think I know the answer! Tilda xx

  • Tilda, now you have me on my bandwagon!!!

    You have already been told it IS necessary!! You have drugs that lower your immune system and are at higher risk of Pneumonia and then the side effects of these type of illnesses bacteraemia, coma, etc!!

    Then if you did get Pneumoccocal infection you certainly wont be able to do school workshops etc. And if you are doing school projects you are in a high risk area for this illness as its mainly droplet infection method of spreading this disease.

    Side effects,? well definitely not normally as bad as the illness. You may react to it, well you may react to all your other meds! You will get a painful arm maybe, take some paracetamol and keep it cool! But the risk of the illness as above well

    My mum in law is currently in high dependency unit with this illness and very ill, the chest ward is choc a block , so its definitely needed in the high risk group.

    We are SO lucky in this country to have these preventative vaccines, other countries do not have these and people suffer with these illnesses. They are manufactured for a reason. I think also that it lasts a few years when you have it!

    Ok this is my opinion and yes you should as Sylvie says have a chat with the Docs, but you know they will say this is a high risk time for this illness, get protected i think!

    That said my friend, love you loads and have a good day ( and get on that phone lol. ) i VERY cranky this week lol!


  • I need cranky Allanah - thanks I will phone again and say just get on with it today. X

  • Ps - having it at 12.10 today Allanah and Sylvi - sorry for bring such a wimp. Its just additional pain not very appealing on top of back ache which is getting me down today - but you were right about dem kids next week - thanks for waking me up to reality! X

  • I'm glad you are having it, and just to push the message home a bit; if you are a bit tender after then just think that it's better than having Pneumonia and a similar illness. I was in hospital a month ago with Pneumonia and other than not having the high fever any more I actually feel worse now than I did when I was in hopital. I have never been offered anything other than the flu jab. I am just about able to drive chrildren to school and then I am taking to rest of the day recovering from just that little activity. My mind is in a complete mixed up state and all I want to do is sleep. Q - do you want to feel like this too? A - no; so I'm pleased you are having the jab!

    Dr sent me for an urgent xray yesturday I was then told it will take a week to get the result - not that urgent then!

    Be a brave girl!

    Mel x

  • Are you on MTX or Leflunomide Mel I can't recall? If so then why on earth weren't you offered this vaccination as I was I wonder? I would say something to your GP about it - and yes you are so right of course I wouldn't want pneumonia or to end up feeling as you do now. I knew I had to have it but was just being a wuss about the timing. If I had been offered it with the flu jab I wouldn't have thought twice but because this recent one made my arm flare up so much I was just prevaricating and thinking I could wait a month until kids workshops are done and dusted. I realised when Allanah said this was mad that it really was! Also I am not thinking straight because I woke in pain (back) at 4am and never got back to sleep and have spent the morning sharpening crayons for next week's workshops. Going to bed for a few hours later as I have first choir rehearsal of 2013 tonight and I'm wabbit! ! X

  • you are not a wimp or a wuss! Well done for getting it sorted. I'm on MTX, well I was but stopped it when I was taken into hospital. I have been told not to restart it until I see the consultant at the end of the month. Do you know I spent a good twoo weeks worried silly about starting taking mtx, I remember standing there with the firts tabllet in my hand so scared and worried, and now I'm desperate to start it again because it was actually doing it's job and very well too! Just about to go and snuggle with my two year old because at the end of the day that's what lifes all about! x

  • Oh it really is Mel - snuggle away please! Xx

  • Tilda you are never a wimp so forget that. You are a exceptional lady who has a disease,wimp

  • Well done, and rest now! So glad u r protected from them kids lol, take hand gel too! Well being cranky works sometimes lol, lots of love Axx

  • IT is absolutely essential as Allanah said and she and myself do have medical experince from our hospital backgrounds.I believe I had mine either shortly before of shortly after starting mtx, the time of the year is not relevant to this jab and it can be given with or without the flu vaccine at the same time.

    Now by the time you read this you will have had the jab and you will probably wonder what all that fuss was about .

    Take care

  • Glad to hear the sense that's being written above and that you'll have had it by now! I had it a few years ago (I always go for what drugs are going!!) and had no side effects at all. Pneumonia is no joke is it.


  • Done it and of course you were all right - as usual. Silly old me I never normally flinch or think twice about such stuff but just having a bit of a flat achy week that's all. Now back up the hill attempting a spring in my step! X

  • And I know your hill, its quite daunting! Good view at the top though. Is that allegorical?

  • ive had both injections the flu and pneumococcol

  • So glad others have been firm with you......Px

  • Aye they can all spot a skiver here on HU! Tilda xx

  • I had both done at once last year, and it wasn't a big deal at all with no obvious side effects at all. If you are eligible for the flu vac and there is good reason for you to have it, then you really should also have the pneumovac as well. Its also a oncer - so you shouldn't have to have it again (or at least not for a very long time).

    Suck it up, and go get it! - no more delaying!

  • Was about to put my GP admin hat on and nag but see you've been a brave little soldier and had it done Tilda ;) Hope the arm is still ache free today x

  • Thanks Misty - got an achy, swollen arm and trying to resist the idea that I'm possibly flaring a bit and feeling horrible and low. I realise its not a live vaccine and i'm being silly but I do wish they had given my this jab when I was feeling more robust back in October. I will snap out of this self pity soon I'm sure though. How are you bearing up now? Good to have you around still. Are you feeling more reconciled or still very weepy? (which I relate to myself tonight if so) x

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