Pmr & flu jab: hi can anyone please give me... - PMRGCAuk


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Pmr & flu jab


hi can anyone please give me advice , due to have flu jab tomorrow but scared . if this is safe to have. So glad to have you all to ask for help. Thank you

53 Replies

Hi, My rheumatologist told me because of having a compromised immune system that I’d to have one last year, which I did. I had no problems at all and have got one booked for next week.

Woodsey1 in reply to Choco-Holic

Thanks so much x

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer


I had flu jab throughout my years with GCA and Pred with no issues whatsoever.

We have discussed recently, and to be honest this years it’s more important than ever to have the vaccine.

Latest info from nhs -

Previous post -

Woodsey1 in reply to DorsetLady

Hi thank you I have read the attached article and feel much better now. I seem to be so anxious about everything right now . Think it’s because you feel so isolated due to cancelled hospital appointments . Thanks again

DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Woodsey1

Pred can cause anxiety - but yes being isolated from hospital doesn't help....but that’s why this forum is here....any time you needs us.

Much safer than getting Flu. I am going to have the Pneumonia vaccine as well. I guess that it will be a challenging winter.

My GP suggests I have the flu and pneumonia vaccines at the same time - I wonder if it would be better to put a week or two between them so not too much load at one time - your thoughts on this much appreciated

My instincts say the same although my doctor suggested that it meant only one trip to the surgery ( having them done together). I can imagine feeling under the weather.

Squiggie in reply to Bennijax

I had the flu jab and the pneumonia jab on same day last year. No problems with my PMR/pred at all.

Telian in reply to SheffieldJane

I recently had the pneumo jab with no after effects whatsoever - not even a ‘hurt’ on the injection site afterwards even though it stung at the time.

There's nothing to be afraid of.

The flu, now there's something to be afraid of.

Get the shot. At most, you'll have a sore arm for a couple of days, maybe a low-grade fever and mild headache. That's normal.

Take it easy for a couple of days. It will be fine.

Woodsey1 in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

Will do . Thank you all for helping

Had my flu shot a week ago and no problem but a sore arm for a few hours. You will be much better protected with the shot!

As all the other replies, have mine booked for next Saturday. More important than ever.

Well I had my jab yesterday. I have one every year. So far so good.

According to my rheumatologist it's perfectly OK to have the flu job and even the pneumonia vaccination while you're on prednisone.

I had my first ever flu jab on Wednesday when I was having bloods taken the GP walked in and asked if she should do it whilst I’m sitting there!! She knows I have always refused it before ( now 73).

I have been fine apart from an aching arm. Feel so pleased I’ve had it done this time as I think we need all the help we can get. I did however make sure it wasn’t a live vaccine. Bite the bullet.

I have respiratory problems anyway but still have the flu jab without any additional problems.

I have been my husband's carer for many years and had to have one to safe guard him. Have had them ever since and would want one anyway in this current situation.

I’ve had flu jab for years, problems x

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Jeannie29

"problems" or "NO problems"?

Thanks for reminding me! I have the jab every year. I had several terrible bouts of flu in earlier years which were not ''trivial'' and which left me with some long-lasting after effects. I also had the pneumonia jab a couple of years ago. This is a once in a lifetime treatment so even better.

My GP assured me there’s no problem

Just wondering if there’s anyone on here who feels slightly apprehensive about having a flu jab for various reasons - and won’t be having one? Just curious .....

I dont have it. Never have never will. I build my own immune system through seasonal diet, qi gong, herbs and use alternative medicine.

Yes me too. Even as a child I had an aversion to taking any medicines and it’s stayed with me throughout my life. I’ve always tried to do the best for my immune system through diet etc. - and I do tai chi!


Purple-Owl in reply to Ssratha

Alternative remedies are very laudable. But you must have polymyalgia or GCA or you would not be here, so presumably they are not enough.

Ssratha in reply to Purple-Owl

They have supported me to deal with side effects of medications. Very very well and with great results. Thanks purple owl.

Ssratha in reply to Purple-Owl

Yes i had gca and pmr. I dont have the flu. Never have. 😉🙂

GOOD_GRIEF in reply to Ssratha

Very commendable. Good general health is important, especially when something goes wrong. But viruses don't care.

And obviously, if you have PMR/GCA, which are autoimmune conditions, you've got a compromised immune system.

Ssratha in reply to GOOD_GRIEF

Thanks gg, i havent, touch wood, had a cold or flu or any other sickness for years. Works for me. Just saying what works for me

diana1998 in reply to Ssratha

Husband and I don't have it. Pmr came on after the shingles jab. We also knew 2 people locally who were paralysed after flu jab. One eventually recovered and the other didn't. We rely on good diet to build up the immune system. My husband swears the body's natural defence is enough and doesn't believe in jabs or pills (he has difficulty knowing I'm on steroids). Loads of people have the jab successfully so it's personal choice. He is lucky and is amazingly strong for his age. Can't appreciate we are all different.

Ssratha in reply to diana1998

Thanks diana, indeed we are all different and need different options 😊

I agree with you Diana - lots of people can have the jab successfully, but it’s a known fact that some vaccines can give an adverse reaction years after having it, and sometimes it can be serious. I agree with your husband - try to build up your immune system naturally and keep away from the chemical filled pills if possible!

Hi All . Just had my flu jab Thanks for all your replies and advice. Saw my gp there he said it is vital to have it done.

Good Morning, I had 'flu shot and pneumonia booster a week ago. No repercussions at all.

You all seem to be getting them early; my appointment is not until October 23rd. I'm more worried about going to the surgery and too many people being in a small space. I'm wondering whether to pay to get one at the pharmacy for speed as well as safety.

Woodsey1 in reply to maria40

Hi they did mine in the car park outside the surgery. It was really well organised. Everyone just queued up with social distancing.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to maria40

I doubt they will have a crowded waiting room at the practice.

maria40 in reply to PMRpro

Not sure. I had a blood test appointment ten days ago and had to wait twenty minutes with four others in a very small waiting room. Two of them were wearing masks on their chins; this does make me uneasy.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to maria40

Would me - that is not acceptable at a GP practice. I'd have been out in the corridor!

Marcy47 in reply to maria40

You can ask for one at the pharmacy for free if you are over 50 this year.

diana1998 in reply to maria40

In my surgery where I go for blood tests I am the only one in there. So no worries. Very strict hand sanitizer and masks.

Am having mine done at the local pharmacist next Thursday. My third since PMR - no problems so far. Is the pneumonia jab really a one off? I had mine ten or twelve years ago and am concerned I should perhaps have another.

My doctor told me last year that the two shots for the pneumonia prevention was a lifetime treatment. When I had my second dose the pharmacist told me no, there would be a booster every five years as follow up.. so who’s to know?

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Janetknit

It depends which pneumonia vaccine is used and your personal situation. In the UK, over 65s usually only get a single shot.

In some cases patients may be given both forms of vaccine: first, the PCV13 shot and then the PPSV23 shot a year or more later. For most people, one of each shot should be enough to protect them for their entire lives. Sometimes, you may need a booster shot. Ask your doctor whether you should get one.

Lots more detail here (aimed at healthcare professionals so not as easy a read as the NHS one):

Having the PPSV23 shot a year after the PCV13 shot isn't a "booster" and small children get boosters because the vaccine doesn't develop immunity as well in babies. Immunocompromised adults MAY need boosters but most of us don't.

Janetknit in reply to PMRpro

That really clears it up for me, thank you for such a complete researched answer... I’m so grateful to have found this support site, it will make a difference in my journey with PMR

Hi there, I just had mine this morning at a drop-in flu clinic at my surgery. Everyone wore masks and the queue was kept 2m apart. Good job it wasn't raining as the queue went right round the car park. Wait was only 20mins. I have had flu jabs for 3 yrs now with no ill effects.

Longtimer in reply to Marcy47

Had mine this morning....door open, walked in , doctor waiting to give it to me and off I went.....feeling nothing then or now....I dare not refuse it.......had flu at 40years ill for weeks...horrendous.......and in my teens there was Hongkong flu about, several local people prevention is better than cure.....if there is one....

I only have the under 65 flu jab without the adjuvant which boosts the immune system which is in the over 75 vaccine.

I had it last year and am waiting to have it again this year.

I am 78 but cannot see the point in having something that boosts my immunity when I take Prednisolone to lower it!

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Smokeygirl

When you are on medication to calm the immune system down then you really need the one with adjuvant even more - it doesn't boost the immune system generally, it helps a specific bit produce the antibodies to the flu virus. The immune system doesn't work as well in older patients anyway - and that is why they use the adjuvant. The alternative would be a lot more of the vaccine to get the same effect.

I wait to have my flu vaccination until early - mid October so I will have a higher level of immunity for the winter months and the peak flu season.

Nothing to be scared about - be more worried if you don’t with what’s going around. I recently had the pneumonia jab too with no problems whatsoever. Flu jab next week.

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