Seasonal Flu Vaccine

We have been made aware that some people are having trouble getting their seasonal flu vaccine. To confirm, the information published by the Department of Health (DH) states that you should consider having the seasonal flu vaccine if you have lowered immunity due to disease or treatment.

This is a link to the seasonal flu vaccination information on the DH website:

dh.gov.uk/health/2011/09/se...

We also received a letter earlier this year, from the Chief Medical Officer of the DH, urging us to encourage our members to have the seasonal flu vaccine. If you are having trouble getting the vaccine please feel free to print a copy of this letter from the DH to take with you to your GP, and ask if you are eligible for the free jab:

nras.org.uk/includes/docume...

Kind regards, and I wish you a flu-free Winter!

Sarah Kate

NRAS Helpline

3 Replies

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  • Can I also suggest that if you haven't had the pneumonia jab yet, you should get that as well - you only have it once unlike the flu which needs to be done yearly as the formula changes slightly each year. Pneumonia is no joke with a compromised immune system. LavendarLady x

  • I was with rheumy nurse for my regular anti tnf infusion and was told that there should be 2 weeks between infusion and flu jab otherwise the flu vaccine wouldn't work so well. I've already had mine but wonder if anyone knows if this is true? Should I have another vaccine?

    The rheumys are definitely creating an impression that anti tnf and flu vaccine don't go well together and if this isn't the case I'd like to know

    C

  • Hi Cathie

    In terms of having the flu vaccine when you are on anti-TNF treatment, it is safe and recommended, as it is not a live vaccine. Please find a link below to the patient information on infliximab, published by Arthritis Research UK that does clearly state this:

    arthritisresearchuk.org/art...

    However, when it comes to how long to wait after your infusion before having the flu jab we have been unable to find a definitive answer, and so it may be best to check this with your rheumatology team.

    Kind regards

    Sarah Kate

    NRAS Helpline

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