Thyroid UK

Flu Jab... yes or no?

Welcoming comments, as usual.

I understand this is subjective and that one has to decide what to do but a few ideas would be welcome.

Because i have RA and other autoimmune diseases my immune system is fairly low but it is further depressed by the biologocal drug I inject weekly (Enbrel), so my rheumatologist told me (and all patients who are treated with the biological drug) to always have a flu jab, so I have always had it. However i am questioning the validity of such a jab, like many on the forum. I believe I would stop having it if I did not have the biological treatment.... because of that I feel i should have it.

I am also due to have a major operation (waiting list) so will be at higher risk of picking up any "nasties" that seem to thrive in an hospital environment, more so in winter.

I wonder if there is anyone on this forum who finds themselves in this predicament? would like to hear from you. Many thanks if you feel you can be of advice.

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healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

My personal thoughts are that if your immune system is compromised then fighting an alien injected into your body is added stress. I have Crohns and Hashi's and do not have the jab. Lots of VitD and all things to help your immune system.

Have you read about the Thymus - a little known gland situated above/around the cleavage - watching over the immune system. Tap it on a regular basis to stimulate the secretions of the Helper Cells TH1 and TH2 - we do it in yoga. In opera or when saying Mon Dieu with palm to chest ( especially for you French lady ! ) that part of the body is patted with love ....

Call me bonkers :-) x

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Hi Marz, thanks for caring to reply and the interesting tip relating to the thymus gland. Worth trying!

As for the flu vaccine I would rather not have it. The fact I have to inject a biologic drug on a weekly basis and that this further suppresses my already compromised immune system makes me feel more worried that should I get the flu my body won't be able to fight it. The rheumatologist certainly explained the difficulty people who have this treatment (much needed for anyone who has severe RA) face when/if they get the flu. Also the fact I will be having a major operation in the coming weeks/months with leave me more vulnerable to catch any bug going round the hospital and the respite care place post op.... especially in the winter months, so still undecided but perhaps I should have the injection.

No you're not bonkers! x

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I personally don't have it although working as a phlebotomist for the NHS they aren't happy!

I had guillaine barre syndrome(also an auto immune disease) when I was younger and the flu jab can be a contributing factor. I'm not prepared to take the risk again as it can cause serious issues.

This is a purely personal opinion and you need to look at you own health issues to decide if you should have it x

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Thanks Emma, do understand your reason for not having the flu jab.... It is always good to be aware of the opinion of as many people as possible, then make one's mind up. x

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It has been decades since I had a 'flu jab and since then I have never succumbed (you wait, I've probably cursed myself now :D ) to 'flu, in fact over 10 years I have probably had a bad cold maybe 2 or 3 times.

I also think we can react to the adjuvants in the vaccine if we are unlucky. Then there is the fact that you are only vaccinating against previous strains and that the various 'flu strains mutate as quickly as Lady Gaga's costume changes. However there are those that have conditions where being vaccinated is worth the risk of a reaction compared to getting clobbered by any 'flu.

I seriously think that practising the best hand hygiene you can in the months of colds, 'flu and norvovirus is paramount. Wear gloves when out and about and wash them as necessary. Hand wash thoroughly and often with hot water and soap (I know this all sounds a bit duurrrrr) and wash well.....sing a round of Happy Birthday to yourself and get a good lather going, a cursory swish under the tap is not going to cut it. Most of all try not to wipe your nose/mouth area with your hands (gloved or un-gloved) unless you have washed your hands, this is the no.1 way viruses are spread after airbourne transmission.

As for hand gels, some are better than others, with a few completely useless .......good hand-washing is king.

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Thank you spongecat. A great reply. Do agree totally with you that soap and hot water are most efficient in getting rid of unwanted "alliens".... Not keen nor impressed by hand gels either.

Do hope you won't catch the flu this year.... Take care.

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I'm aware of all the worries of having the flu jab however I do have it purely because I have asthma. Asthma attacks are v scary and can be life threatening so for me it's better to have the jab. Everyone's different though.

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Thanks for reply mrsm49.... I do have asthma as well as autoimmune diseases so I should perhaps go ahead with the flu injection this year, as in previous years. However there are justified concerns regarding the flu jab, it is the reason for which I decided to seek the opinion of other people.

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Yes it's a hard decision I know I missed it one year but then had chat with gp about it. I've also had few times when a cold has set my asthma off and I've had to have steroids. Not being able to breathe scares me. It's an individual decision and i agree its a bit like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Xx

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Different manufacturers use different ingredients in the flu jab. You can google this. Some are a bit 'cleaner' than others. I have opted not to take the flu shots as when I was a young child, I had one of the first shots and reacted. It was given under the skin on forearm and my arm swelled like there was fluid under it (1950's) . I've never had the flu and I'm not sure how viable the shot is due to the guess as to what strain(s) are being used.im 67 now. Having said that, my overall health is good and thyroid meds are the only thing I'm taking. If you have other conditions you'll need to weigh the possible pros/cons in getting the shot.

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