Flu jab yes or no?

I am due to have a flu jab, at my own request, through my doctors surgery but without specific advice from a GP.

I seem to remember a previous discussion on this forum where the consensus seemed to be go for it. I can't seem to locate it.

I am reducing Pred. And am on 12.5mgs. I feel pretty rough, not much specific pain, just a bit of low back twinge. I dread feeling worse but dread flu more. Should I go ahead and have this jab?

20 Replies

  • Hi Jane,

    I've had flu jab for last 10 years - pre and with GCA - no problems at all. Some people aren't so keen, but I can only speak from my experience.

    If in doubt discuss with surgery beforehand.

  • Me too, though only for 6 years.

  • Hi, Sheffield Jane. I've had the flu jab twice, since being on steroids, the latest being about a month ago. I can't say I've had any problems. According to several people who know much more than I do, it's not a live vaccine, so it's fine.

    I've been advised by my GP that I should also have the pneumonia vaccine, but given that some GPs are not totally au fait with PMR/GCA, I'd be grateful for some advice from someone who knows.

    Thanks in anticipation!

  • Hi Jane,

    I had pneumonia vaccine a couple of years ago - again to problem. Apart from two sore arms instead of one - done at same time as flu jab!

  • Thanks, Dorset Lady. I realise I hijacked Sheffield Jane's query, so grateful for the response and apologies to Sheffield Jane!

  • No problems, we all do that. And end up replying to the wrong person - my apologies to you!

  • At the risk of boring you with the sameness of my replies DL, me too. though without the sore arms.

    Sheffield Jane, I see no reason why you should have a problem. My lovely Mum died of 'flu in the '57 Asian 'flu epidemic aged 49, and it wasn't until years later that I read that any existing infection increased the risk of a bad outcome, and she had not long been diagnosed with phlebitis in her arm. IMO you should hotfoot it down to the surgery, just in case this Winter is a 'flu one!

  • Bless you for your reply mega. I had the jab, no problems. I am so sorry that you lost your lovely mum in such a shocking way. Thank you for spreading your warning to people on this site who all have compromised immune systems.

  • healthunlocked.com/pmrgcauk...




    These are the 4 discussions from the last month or so.

    If you look to the right of this page you will find a box with some related posts - all about flu jabs in some way.

    It's a killed vaccine so safe when on pred and far preferable to getting the flu in all its glory. You may not be 100% protected as it is impossible to say how efficiently your messed up immune system will develop immunity in response to the jab but it does give you a head start.


  • We need a lot more information from you. First of all, what country are you in, because there are people on this forum living all over the world. And why specifically would a "free" shot be worse than any other? Some of us live in places where free is the only option. :)

  • I live in Australia and all other relevant personal details are on my profile.

    My son is a general practitioner and he advised me to avoid the free jab FluVax and rather pay the extra $20 or $25.

    As far as I know, the free jab used in Australia has been taken off the market in the USA, because of too many side effects.

    I thought these forums are here to learn from others and to make educated decisions based on our research and experience, plus to learn from the experience and research of other forum members?

    Sorry if I seem naive.

  • Sorry, Naturalgirl, if I offended you. Just needed to know more. I don't think I could pay for a flu vaccine in Nova Scotia, even if I planned to get the shot this year. I never do.

    BTW I'd be interested to read any links you could send me regarding what appears to be a scandalous situation. There's quite a lot of info on the internet, including a statement that one particular kind should never be used for children under 5, but I couldn't find anything about banned vaccines in the US being used in Australia. I do know that the flu seasons in Northern and Southern hemispheres have to be dealt with separately so a vaccine which is good in the North one season may be considered a poor choice in the South six months later or vice versa. All this is not meant to be critical, I'm just really curious and want to know more. Peace.

  • No worries Heron, I am not offended. Peace to you too.

  • I live in the US, and when I was diagnosed in Sept. 2014, my rheumatologist had me immediately get the flu & pneumonia vaccines. I've had the flu vaccine three times since getting PMR, with no problems. Just remember that you don't want to get a Shingles vaccine while on prednisone.

  • I am glad for you, Sweet Sue. Sadly not everyone has the same experience you have made. Thank you for your advice about the shingle vaccine.

    Best wishes Tess

  • I had proper shingles last month, so should be immune. Had it twice, once when I was 15 and again at 54. Not getting any flu advice off docs. Will book myself at a Chemists.

  • Interesting to me as I have had shingles three times as well. Would be curious how many who have been diagnosed with PMR and/or GCA have had shingles, especially repeatedly.

  • I have had mine for the last 3 times post GCA with absolutely no problems. Go for it, you don't want to risk bad flu as well

    Take care

  • Thanks for this really helpful discussion. I had it done this morning. Thanks also to naturagirl for the heads up about the free Flu jab in Australia. My eldest daughter, her husband and two children live in Coffs Harbour, I will pass on your insider information. Patients are always the last to know. My UK son in Law is a GP and he regularly makes my hair curl, particularly at the dinner table. He is also diagnosing PMR left right and centre since me ( the eyes are opened).

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