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Flu vaccination and ME/CFS

Messages
22
I get my flu jab every year. I'm lucky in that I don't get any serious side effects from it (occasionally a little more unwell than usual the next day if I was already having a bad day on jab day). It can take me a month to "recover" from cold symptoms (I had a cold/cough thing a couple of months ago, I got over it in 3 weeks but it's definitely reduced my overall baseline level of functioning now), so I do what I can to avoid flu. The jab isn't 100% effective, because the virus evolves so much, but it's been effective enough for me so far.
 

flybro

Senior Member
Messages
706
Location
pluto
Nope, permanent state of flu here, which I attribute to a tetanus jab. I've also been told that the jab they used was withdrawn from use 8 months after it was brought out.
 

barbc56

Senior Member
Messages
3,657
I get the jab every year. I can't imagine how awful it would be to get the flu on top of this.

I've never had a reaction. Some people do get a reaction but I think it's overhyped as far as how often this happens.
 

HowToEscape?

Senior Member
Messages
626
This seems to vary by person. My doc recommended against it, I requested it anyways. Result:
No reaction, no problems, and only very mild flu every year I got it. The year I didn't, I was miserable.

I find that even a hint of cold or flu knocks me even flatter than usual, and as I can't keep up with life as it is, any further knockdown is too much. So, for me, it's get the shot every time. That might not work out for you, try it one year and see.

btw, this year they're recommending more susceptible people wait till late October to get the shot, I think the reason was it's expected to wear off, while the flu should hit a month or two after that.
 
Messages
3,263
I get the jab. It makes me feel crap for a few days. But better to go with the few day's crap I can predict than actually contract flu and suffer the unknoweable consequences.

But then mine is a very "immune-y" CFS, and I'm pretty sure that it flares when I am fighting a nasty virus. And those flares can last weeks, not days.

@HowToEscape? I'm no expert, but that "wearing off" thing is news to me. I was of the impression you get partial protection from a flu jab even the year following, and maybe even further down the line? The reason being, the virus tends not to mutate hugely from year to year, so some immune familiarity with last year's strain offers partial protection for next year's.
 

Forbin

Senior Member
Messages
966
I wonder how a bad reaction to the flu shot correlates to overall symptom severity. For instance, have people in "remission" been knocked back into illness by a flu shot? Or are patients most prone to a reaction when their symptoms are at their worst?
 

alex3619

Senior Member
Messages
13,810
Location
Logan, Queensland, Australia
I had a flu jab two years ago, then I got flu, and worsening ME symptoms on top of it. Decided not to have a jab again because it didn't protect me anyway.
Flu vaccinations do not protect against all strains, just a few. What happens with regular vaccinations is that you get protected against more and more strains over time.

Given many of us can react badly, and we can lose protection fast, and many of us do not come into contact with enough people to be at high risk, each case has to be considered separately, on the specific issues. I don't think there can be a general recommendation for or against. A severe flu will probably set many of us back far more than a vaccination, so there is a case for both sides of the argument.
 

HowToEscape?

Senior Member
Messages
626
I get the jab. It makes me feel crap for a few days. But better to go with the few day's crap I can predict than actually contract flu and suffer the unknoweable consequences.

But then mine is a very "immune-y" CFS, and I'm pretty sure that it flares when I am fighting a nasty virus. And those flares can last weeks, not days.

@HowToEscape? I'm no expert, but that "wearing off" thing is news to me. I was of the impression you get partial protection from a flu jab even the year following, and maybe even further down the line? The reason being, the virus tends not to mutate hugely from year to year, so some immune familiarity with last year's strain offers partial protection for next year's.

The 'wearing off' part isn't mine, it's lifted from online newspaper coverage. For all I know it's a "newspaper fact": just a reporter filling space.

Slightly OT:
An interesting thing about news articles: Look that those for any area in which you have a modest degree of expertise. Those will almost always be full of obvious errors.
I can recall one, from when I was in high school, about a wood-frame house burning down due to an electric space heater which "exploded". Hm, where's the explosive material in a little resistance heater? Metal box, maybe a small fan, and small amount of resistance wire. Good luck trying to make an explosive outta that.
As it turned out, the actual cause of the fire was that the reckless punk renting the house put a penny in the fusebox (fuses back then were simple things that screwed in like a light bulb), which makes for a fire origin inside the building walls, which makes for a ferocious fire that seems to race throughout the building.
 

taniaaust1

Senior Member
Messages
13,054
Location
Sth Australia
I avoid this, I know of someone who got very bad flu from what seemed to be that vaccine itself.

and if I did do it, it could be a case of putting myself at vaccination risk for nothing as I know my body has trouble making some antibodies to some things including to vaccinations as I had to get my Hep B shot done so many times when I was in the ambulance service where it was necessarily, in the end all the other recruits were fine with it.. but I kept on being told it wasnt taking so they kept on redoing it.

After all that it still may not have worked (that was within the 12months before I got ME, so maybe that shot helped make me susceptable to this!). So vaccination.. no thank you!

Im not a person who gets flu easily anyway, never have been

There is a group of people with ME/CFS who never seem to catch colds and flus (something they say has occurred since they became sick).
 
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alkt

Senior Member
Messages
339
Location
uk
had the flu jab every year for 26 years the only ill effects i can report are from getting to the doctors an then home again. any trip out of the house that take 20 min or more always leaves me worse off for the following 3 days. fortunately getting the flu jab is still optional .
 

AndyPandy

Making the most of it
Messages
1,928
Location
Australia
Before ME I always felt unwell after a flu shot. Decided not to have them after developing ME and my GP in the early years of my illness supported my decision.