Flu jab- yes or no?: Just had a message from the... - PMRGCAuk

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Flu jab- yes or no?

artisam
artisam

Just had a message from the school office that our flu jabs will be available as per when the team are in to immunise the children in Novemver. Advice seems to be conflicting. Has anyone got the difinitive answer - I'm guessing it's a no.

58 Replies
oldestnewest

For you? Definitely yes and Pneumonia. It is live vaccines like shingles that we have to avoid. We are priority for the flu jab. Lucky you if it comes to your work.

DorsetLady
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

A definite yes.

artisam
artisam in reply to DorsetLady

Reason I ask is that 'He-Who-Knows-Everything' has read that it could cause an extreme reaction in immune suppressed people (those on Pred). I also hear that you should avoid people who have had the live version of the flu vaccine (children). Might be a problem for me as I am surrounded by them! That's a week off then!

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to artisam

If people are immune suppressed it really isn't likely to create an extreme reaction - and the doses we are on are not really that immunosuppressant. What is a problem is being exposed to the live vaccine or the virus itself which could both result in severe illness because the immune system is not able to respond to and combat the infection. There is a lot of question about how effectively a compromised immune system may develop the antibodies but in fact they do and it is adequate (see below).

The flu vaccine used in adults is not live, it is an inactivated form so cannot cause the flu in the recipient. But it does give the immune system an opportunity to recognise what they may face and practise.

Where did he read it? An anti-vaxxer site?

The definitive science:

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

concludes

"Our systematic review and meta-analyses suggest immunocompromised patients do manifest an immune response to vaccination that, while not as vigorous as that of healthy controls, probably confers a similar level of clinical protection against influenza and, importantly, does so without causing excess harm. "

artisam
artisam in reply to PMRpro

Well, that told me! Thank you, think I'm still over thinking things.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to artisam

There is an awful lot of very misleading information circulating about vaccines, created by people who have no understanding of the biology behind them, just a prejudice against them (which is beyond me) developed in response to fabricated evidence by various people, including Andrew Wakefield. Measles is on the up as a result of his efforts - many children have died as a result.

DorsetLady
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to artisam

we don't have live version - so okay

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
artisam
artisam in reply to Hidden

Mmm perhaps a bit more research required. I've got plenty of time to think about it. Thank you for your reply.

A yes from me

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

The definitive answer is a definite YES. Particuarly this year with Covid-19 potentially in the mix for being ill during the winter - it is likely that more people will be entitled to the flu vaccine this year to reduce the stress on healthcare systems.

artisam
artisam in reply to PMRpro

I'm lucky our school always pays for any member of staff who wants one.

I’ve always avoided the ‘flu jab like the Plague which isn’t easy when you work in the NHS or are a regular visitor to the Surgery.

I will however, have one this year.....

artisam
artisam in reply to MrsNails

That's interesting. Why do you as void them?

MrsNails
MrsNails in reply to artisam

Always been a bit of an irrational, unfounded fear but I’d hide in the Beverage Bay if l saw the Occupational Health Nurse on her rounds 😂

Jo & l never had the Flu Jab & we never caught the Flu, Sue had the jab every year as an asthmatic & it never seemed to benefit her!

We were very fond of Dettol Spray & keeping Reception Glass Locked Closed!....

I guess we were just lucky but we worked through the Bird Flu & kept well too.

One dreadful, hallucinating, bout of flu cured me of all my hippy thinking.

Ditto. I would never miss now. Even if it only lessens the effect of flu, it is worth it.

Amen to that. One horrible night curled up on the bathroom floor, wretching at both ends totally cured me of fear of flu shot. I was terrified of shot for years. Got over it a few years ago. Get shot every year, no flu, and no problems. Get a flu shot.

Jan_Noack
Jan_Noack in reply to MrsNails

thats been my experience too. Not much use in a flu shot if our country is isolating well as the isolation stops the flu also...have a look at Qld stats.

health.qld.gov.au/__data/as... 2nd page and down for graphs showing how in this state the isolating for covid also stopped the flu in its tracks.. pening up the cases have started again (single digits weekly for state so far).

I have had two flue jabs over the last six years. After the first one I developed PMR after three month, 5 years later I was persuaded to have another jab, three months later I had a major flair which turned out to be return of symptoms. Doctor put me back on 15mg/day. Coinsidenc or what?

DorsetLady
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Pastit

Just unlucky I would say.. I had flu jab all through my GCA years (high doses) before and after - no issues.

The first flu jab I've ever had was this past January because my rheumatologist reminded me that my steroid dose will go up if I get seriously ill (she knows how to press my buttons). I didn't feel I needed the vaccine in the past and my attitude was the less you give you body to deal with the better, but I am not going to hesitate to get another one as soon as they are available. I had to pay for mine, but it was very affordable and conveniently administered by my local pharmacist.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to TheMoaningViolet

"the less you give you body to deal with the better,"

Also a justification for vaccination using a safer, inactivated substance that cannot make you ill rather than an overload of the flu virus when you catch it from someone else.

I know, my reasons were not scientifically justified. Mostly wishful thinking really.

It's a yes. Get the shot. Tell everyone you know to get the shot. Only a doctor should rule out whether anyone should get the shot.

Like other viruses, the only way to kill it is to give it no hosts.

Don't be a victim, and don't be a vector.

Get the shot.

artisam
artisam in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

Mmm don't think I have much of a choice do I? Thank you all for your responses - another little quest completed!

I've had the flu jab every year for 18 years. I had it free at work when I worked for Transport for London, paid for a couple of years and it's been free since I hit 65. I remember the terrible debilitating bouts of flu that I suffered in the past with weeks of fatigue and unwellness afterwards, and I'd do almost anything to avoid that.

As a PMR Newbie, I am also new to flu jabs (too young to get an automatic one). How does it work? Do I get an invite or something from the GP or will I need to specifically request one. When are they done (ie when do I need to chase or something)?

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to DogAgilityObsessed

Depends on the GP - they wouldn't give me one in Durham, even as a carer for 2 very vulnerable people who did get one! Not sure how the system works in the UK now - here they announce they are available and you turn up and say please!

HeronNS
HeronNS in reply to PMRpro

A few years ago here they opened up flu shots to everyone although originally it was only the over 65s and the vulnerable under that age. I think this is partly why there hasn't been the uptake they hoped because there will still be many people like I was when I was under 65, and even for a few years after, because I'm fundamentally so healthy (PMR aside), who don't yet understand that universal vaccination even for the flu is valuable.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to HeronNS

It seems a shame the UK government left the herd immunity bit for when it was totally inapproapraite! Having the flu shot is not just for you - it is for your fellows who can't have it for whatever reason.

I usually have mine at the beginning of November, but as I say it's part of the school programme. They are available at a lot of chemists, I think they are about £10. As far as I know anyone can have these.

I started having flu shots a couple of years ago. I'm over 70 and hubby is in a high risk group, catches every respiratory ailment going around despite getting flu shot and both pneumonia shots. If I had never had a flu shot (or pneumonia immunization) I would definitely be getting them now as I suspect it's wise to limit chances of coming down with other respiratory diseases if one were unfortunate enough to be weakened by covid-19 at any point.

Was just at the dentist and he said that this year was the best year ever for people NOT coming down with the flu - because we were all avoiding each other during height of flu season on account of covid!

Jan_Noack
Jan_Noack in reply to HeronNS

yes the stats for flu are at zero or close to in most states in Australia last time I looked

I've only once had a flu jab about twelve years ago, and it gave me a nasty bout of flu for the first time in my life!

I even avoided the 1957/8 flu epidemic when I was at boarding school and boys were keeling over one after the other.

I have already been told by a practice nurse that I MUST have the jab this coming winter, and from what I read here I guess you would all endorse this?

Paddy

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Charlie1boy

The flu jab didn't give you flu - it can't, Many people think it was the jab but they were really already infected when they had it.

nickm001
nickm001 in reply to PMRpro

How can you tell it it is vaccine (live) virus or infection before the vaccine that makes people have flu?

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to nickm001

We don't get live vaccines basically and should not have any of the ones only available live. The only live flu vaccine is the nasal one used for children. The flu vaccine we get is killed vaccine, you CAN'T get flu so even if you DO develop symptoms, they are not flu. Some people will feel unwell - but that is the immune system working. If it is flu you were infected just before the shot - the usual incubation period for flu viruses is a few days, 1-4 is usal, 7 days is the upper limit.

nickm001
nickm001 in reply to PMRpro

Charlie1boy was talking about vaccine that was given 12 years ago, most likely for general population, which may have had live virus, because it was for different age group. I agree with with comments for senior vaccine, which has dead virus and adjuvants to amplify the immune system response. In our case, if we so happens to have been infected with flu before the vaccine, I can't imagine how live virus and adjuvant would make you feel - probably MUCH worse then just a flu itself.

BTW, I am not anti vaccines, just don't feel that after 1980 vaccines are tested properly, otherwise vaccine manufacturers would not need immunity from damage from vaccine they make. ANY vaccine invented after 1980 is a suspect, including flu, chickenpox and unfortunately MMR, but HPV takes a cake. Japan has stopped giving MMR long time ago due to damage and adverse side effects and gives 3 separate vaccines at different times instead; and it has nothing to do with Wakefield, it is Japans own study - stats.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to nickm001

That is fair enough - but Wakefield is a criminal in my book. Not just for the falsified results.

BTW - are you keeping your head above water? Been a bit wet I gather ;)

nickm001
nickm001 in reply to PMRpro

It has been very wet this year, even in my area. But no flooding where I live, which is a surprise, because last week we got 370mm in 48 hours!

Southern island Kyushu have got yearly rainfall in just last month and they have terrible floods.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to nickm001

Blimey - you must have a good drainage system!!! We've had landslides, mudslide, flooded cellars - but nothing like that sort of amount of rain at one time!

The first time I had a flu jab I also suffered with a bad dose of flu. I had the second one 3 years later and didn't get any symptoms at all. That was 10 years ago and I have one every year now - no symptoms.

Thank you for your reply. Very similar circumstances indeed for us both. As I will have the injection, you have certainly made me feel better about it.

Onwards and upwards!

Best wishes

Paddy

Definitely flu and this year will have the pneumonia as well. Even though I am sure that PMR was caused by my reaction to a travel vaccine, it is the reaction and not the vaccine that is the problem.

nickm001
nickm001 in reply to Susan1705

Wonder what caused reaction? if it is not a vaccine

I couldn’t bring myself to having a flu jab. 9 years ago my very healthy 87 year old mother in law had her first ever flu jab and woke next morning feeling dreadful. Ambulance down to Aberdeen by afternoon with suspected pneumonia and passed away before midnight - just so horrific. Maybe it wasn’t the flu jab but she was feeling absolutely fine before she got it.

artisam
artisam in reply to Loyd

Oh how dreadful. We are so coloured by our experiences aren't we?

Loyd
Loyd in reply to artisam

I’m sure our experience is a one off. I don’t know if she got a live virus - it just scares me so much.

Jan_Noack
Jan_Noack in reply to Loyd

yes, I've seen a lot of those cases too. My Mum's death in late 2018 was 6 mtsha after a flu jab also. ..she just kept getting UTI's after that..maybe she would of anyway.. but she just seemed to get weaker overall. I had not given her yearly jabs but when the virus changed a lot, so every 3 years or so, but she was going to trial a nursing home so I had always told myself that is a high risk , so get her vaccinated before.. but I do believe she may still be here today if her immune system had not had that to lower it...and can I prove this, probably not , but it is how I feel. that said, I would probably get my Dad a flu shot a few weeks before he eneters a nursing home too, even if only for temporary stay of 2 weeks like mUm's was.

Loyd
Loyd in reply to Jan_Noack

It is sad. Sorry for your loss. You just never know what to do for the best. I remain convinced that the flu jab did something to her. They do say that if you aren’t well you shouldn’t get it - why is that if it’s safe?

Jan_Noack
Jan_Noack in reply to Loyd

I agree. it does make your body produce antibodies to the antigen that is injected. That in itself affects the immune system n that it has to work to produce the antibodies when it could be using that "work= energy= fight" to fight whatever you have instead. Some vaccines ( I doubt the flu) but ones like tuberculosis which I was injected with on health program where every 14 yr old got an injection unless you showed antibodies..I reckon I must have been around the last year of the eradication effort.. but I suspect it had something to do with creating my autoimmune problems, Yes TB was eradicated but it was dropping off anyway I think? I definitely didn't help anyone in havingit..and I recall strongly thinking about skipping that day to avoid it...I'll never know though. I;ve readnow you can't give the vaccine to adults only young childrenas its dangerous..and yet we all had it at 14?

For me yes is advisable. Particularly as you work in a school.

I never had it before GCA and PMR as I suffer from so many reactions/allergies to prescribed medications. I took Rheumie and GP advice to have it and have been okay for the past 6 years since diagnosis.

I also pick up all the ailments my grandchildren bring home from school even when I got to 3mg pred. I’m back to 10 mg following a flare. Not looking forward to this winter at all.

Since starting on steroids I’ve had chest infections every winter that have needed at least 3 consecutive courses of antibiotics. It leaves me with crackles in the chest for weeks after the infection has gone. As a non- smoker I’m quite indignant I get them. I’ve had proper flu many years ago and don’t relish the thought of fighting it off now.

It’s easy to forget many people die from the flu each year even though there’s a vaccine.

The decision is yours.

Best wishes.

artisam
artisam in reply to Telian

Thank you. It's true we do forget how serious flu is and I'm still getting my head round the fact that I'm vunerable - that just isn't who I am. Guess a change of mindset is required.

Telian
Telian in reply to artisam

That’s exactly it, you’re still getting used to being vulnerable. You’ve a while yet to make your decision. I didn’t think too much about it just went for it. Don’t forget the pneumonia jab too. I haven’t had that yet as haven’t been well enough - my GP says need to be well.

Jan_Noack
Jan_Noack in reply to Telian

I had the pneumonia jab back in Feb/Mar?when COVI D looked like it was going to be worldwide..just as I didn't want both together. I had it after reading on here about it as I was under 65 so had not considered it for myself.

Telian
Telian in reply to Jan_Noack

My 27 year old grandson got pneumonia at Christmas which has left scarring on his lungs. He’s a big strapping 6’ 5” lad too.

Jan_Noack
Jan_Noack in reply to Telian

so sad to hear that. my gr grandfather died of pneumonia at age 31 in manchester.

Telian
Telian in reply to Jan_Noack

How sad. It can be a killer.

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