Pneumonia jab: I had my flu jab yesterday and the... - PMRGCAuk


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Pneumonia jab


I had my flu jab yesterday and the practice nurse asked if I'd like to have the pneumonia jab as well. She said that, since my immune system is compromised, she wouldn't do it there and then. She also said it isn't a live vaccine so is safe for me. I agreed and made an appointment in 4 weeks' time. Before then I wasn't even aware that this jab existed. Has anybody else had it?

35 Replies

Yes I had it done was advised due to my immune system also flu jab, never bothered before but felt I had better take advice😳🤔

Yes, As a medically described elderly person (over 65), i dont care to chance the potential risks of pneumonia. Ditto flu jab.

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Yes - I had it done a few years ago, part way through GCA/Pred journey. No problems.

I've just read a bit about it and it seems it protects against the bacterial form of pneumonia, to which oldies are more susceptible, but not the viral form. Anyway it's clearly a good thing so I'm happy to go ahead.

I get this and the flu shot every year, and I get them together.

HeronNS in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

We are told the pneumonia shot is either once in a lifetime or maybe given again after a number of years, not an annual vaccine. There are two versions which protect against different strains of pneumonia and you can get them a year apart if deemed necessary to have them both.

Marijo1951 in reply to HeronNS

I wondered about that, especially as the flu jab is annual because of the different strains of the virus. I'll see what she advises when I see her.

HeronNS in reply to Marijo1951

The flu virus is constantly mutating. There is research going on as we speak to develop a vaccine which will target the "permanent" part of the flu virus, but at the moment our vaccines can only target the part which changes.

Marijo1951 in reply to HeronNS

I look forward to them achieving this. The flu vaccine we're receiving this year is apparently effective against 3 of the 4 current strains. We all have to hope we don't catch the 4th one.

piglette in reply to Marijo1951

A jab that does protect against the Japanese strain will be available to those under the age of 65. It is not, however, considered useful for pensioners as it lacks the "adjuvanted" booster needed to prompt an immune response in older people.

Over 65s will be offered an adjuvanted vaccine that works against H2N2 "Aussie" flu, H1N1 "swine" flu and a different "Brisbane" strain of flu B. This will be available for over 75s in Scotland as it seems they did not order the vaccine on time.

Summer66 in reply to piglette

What flue strains are in the 4 strain and up to65 yrs

piglette in reply to Summer66

The 65 and over is for three strains H2N2 "Aussie" flu, H1N1 "swine" flu and a "Brisbane" strain of influenza B. The under 65s is for the Japanese B/Yamagata only. I think it was planned that the over 65s one should include the Japanese variety but I think there was a licensing problem, as most of Europe seem to have it included. I think the fact we are all not getting the same may be due to costs and politics. I may be wrong though.

GOOD_GRIEF in reply to HeronNS

Here in the states, we get two different shots, PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine) PPSV23 (pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine), each a year apart, and a booster afterward if deemed a good idea.

I've only started this since I turned 60, and being 63 this year, my rheumy gave me the booster, too.

HeronNS in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

Only one is offered routinely here, the other to those considered at risk, like my husband, and the doctor told him she felt she could justify offering it to me also because of being on prednisone although I don't think I ever followed up.

GOOD_GRIEF in reply to HeronNS

Yeah, I'm a New Yorker. I'm always at risk.

I'm especially careful now that I've been taking Pred for almost 2 years. So far, I've avoided catching anything more than a set of sniffles last year that lasted just a couple of days.

Yes . I was there for a smear test and the nurse got excited when she realised I was eligible and before I could blink she had jabbed me!

Absolutely no ill effects and not even a bruise!

She sounds a good one. I find my practice nurse is often a lot better informed than the GPs.

Thank you everybody for your responses. I knew I could trust the practice nurse, but it helps to have backing from you wise people too.

I can only speak for myself but I got caught with the pneumonia jab but would not have it again. I had a terrible arm which felt like it was bursting and I was told that because I was on predisolone it did not go with it. When I complained bitterly to the doctor about it his comment was it was better than getting pneumonia. Since I have never been a chesty person I begged to differ. You know your own body so must make up your own mind.

Marijo1951 in reply to prunus

Bad luck prunus. I think I will go ahead but be aware that there might be a downside. I've never had pneumonia, but remember both my mother and a work colleague being frighteningly ill with it, which makes me want to take steps to avoid getting it.

prunus in reply to Marijo1951

I can see where you are coming from. My own husband has had pneumonia on a number of occasions since childhood. His first before the coming of penicillin. The worst from my point of view was having to drive back from holiday with him like a zombie and two young children in the car. Needless to say he has had the injection. In his case he had no reaction but was not on predisolone.

Yes I had it a few years back too. I didn’t have PMR then, but was and am a carer for my son who has a neurological condition, so I was advised to have it.

Marijo1951 in reply to Linda369

Were you told it was a once in a lifetime thing, or will you have to have it again to stay immune?

Linda369 in reply to Marijo1951

Just the one.

Morning M, it`s all come to late for me, I`ve had the flu just when I should have had the jab/s. Still not over it, coughing an wheezing, pains in ears blocked nose. I`ve had pneumonia as a child, not sure if I can get it twice. However, this aside, this condition we have here Polymyalgia I`ve found is effected by the Flu virus. Not sure at all whether having a pneumonia jab would compromise an immune system.

Marijo1951 in reply to Oldman-1

Gosh, how miserable for you. It's very early in the season too. I imagine there are lots of people who fully intend to have the flu jab and don't realise they're already vulnerable. Maybe for you it's still worth having it because it would protect you against at least 2 strains. As for the pneumonia jab, the general consensus seems to be that there's no problem, but I'll take on board prunus's experience and not be too surprised if I have a nasty reaction.

Yes I have after a bout of pneumonia last September. I wouldnt want to get it again thats for sure. Apparently you can still get it but not as bad as if you hadnt had the jab. Its your decision but I'm sure most people will advise you to have it.

My doctor did not want me to get the pneumonia or high dose jab. He said I could get a regular flu shot. I’m uncomfortable with that advice as I think the chance of getting pneumonia would be worse than the shot.

HeronNS in reply to Sped53

In fact as I said above my doctor is even willing to give me the second kind which here is reserved only for at risk patients, simply because of the immune suppression caused by pred. The reverse of what your doctor says. But it would be interesting to know why your doctor feels this advice is suitable. Maybe he knows something we don't?

Yes, I have had the pneumonia shot. It consists of two parts. Also I will get my flu shot next month! I am a young 73!

Yes, and about 101 others that the Coeliac Society decided were essential for Coeliacs!!!

No problems with any of them. The current advice is not to have live vaccines with PMR and pred.

Yes, I checked with the nurse and she assured me the pneumonia vaccine isn't a live one.

Hello Marijo,

Have had flu injections whilst on pred and also pneumonia jab.. touch wood, no problems but I did have them separately

Marijo1951 in reply to tgca

Yes, the nurse was going to give me the pneumonia one at first, but then decided in view of my pred dosage that she should probably give them separately - not sure a 4-week wait was necessary though.

Yip, I was told it lasts for 10 years and am sure I must be due again

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