Will you have a 'flu vaccine this year?

Blue Jay

Senior Member
Messages
730
I have never had a 'flu vaccine because I worry about reacting badly and having an ME relapse. This year, the question whether to have one is on my mind more because of covid19 and also because of having a husband suffering from cancer. If I get 'flu it's obviously a huge problem or, equally, if I relapse.

What do other people think? Do you have a vaccination each year or avoid it? Are you more concerned this time? I'm in a quandary.

I'd be grateful for your opinions.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,600
I've had this for a long time, pretty well since the very beginning. B/c of my many neurological illnesses I do have a flu shot each year. This year, though, we'll be having it earlier....probably by the 3rd week in August. This will give my body time to adjust to it just in case there is a vaccination for the COVID Virus. I also have no immune system, and congestive heart failure also, so I'm in a rather vulnerable condition.

I'll admit that I did think long and hard about it, but have made my decision.

Have you and your husband had the latest shingles vaccine? It's up to 90% effective, but is often hard to get. Leave your name at the pharmacy and you'll be called when it's in. This one takes two injections, but it's worth it. I've had shingles 3 times, one round after the other. I also had a 4th outbreak many years ago. The virus stays in the spinal cord and stress makes it worse. Your husband should check with his Dr. first before having it...perhaps he even suggested it before his treatments began. It was truly miserable and I spent over a year in bed b/c of pain and just recovering from the assault on my body. Stress is the main cause and I'd hate to see you suffering through it. I believe you have to be over 50 to get it. I had no reaction whatsoever to that, either.
Yours Lenora.
 

Seadragon

Senior Member
Messages
761
Location
UK
Same here. Worried about reacting badly and usually avoid the flu vaccine.

I also was wondering how others here feel about the possibility of the flu vaccine - or indeed a Covid vaccine if one becomes available in future - making ME worse.

In my years reading on these forums, some people seem to do fine with vaccines and others find them more problematic, albeit more usually only temporarily.
 

BrightCandle

Senior Member
Messages
1,051
I had one last year and comparing it to my medical log it didn't do anything other than giving me an achy arm for a couple of days. There was no increased fatigue or headaches or anything else or I have mentioned is it hurt my arm. I am obviously just one person but I haven't heard of any reason to avoid it with ME/CFS.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,317
Location
Alberta
No for me. I've only had a flu a few times in my life before ME, and none after, so I seem to be low-risk. Also, my contact with other humans is very minimal, so my risk of picking up the virus is very small. Totally not worth the bother for me.
 

geraldt52

Senior Member
Messages
597
The flu vaccine in any given year is often less than 50% effective. And, the idea that getting a flu vaccine will make a bout of the flu less bad, even if the vaccine isn't effective, is basic marketing nonsense with no data to support it. I'll take my chances without the vaccine.

Given the shortcuts being taken with the development of a Covid vaccine, and the extreme political pressure to have any vaccine, I'd have zero interest in any Covid vaccine for at least a few years, until potential long term consequences shake out. To me, FDA or CDC approval is like a fox's approval that he's guarding the hen house.
 

wabi-sabi

Senior Member
Messages
1,318
Location
small town midwest
Definitely yes. I've been getting the vaccine every year, both before and after ME/CFS. It's ever bothered the ME/CFS, but a head cold flattens me. I can't risk getting the flu-even minimal contact with other people-so I get it every year. I'm especially eager to get it this year.
 

Hufsamor

Senior Member
Messages
2,727
Location
Norway
I had the flu vaccine first time last autumn.
Mostly because I'm surrendered by very old and very weak people, and I've had a fear for some years, that IF I get the flu, I might pass in on.
I didn't react to the vaccine at all, so I guess I'll take the flu vaccine again this autumn.

My niece also got the flu vaccine first time in her life , as soon as the covid 19 began to spread in Norway. She has asthma, and we where concerned as to how she would react if she would be unfortunate enough to get covid and the flue at the same time.

For her, it seems like the vaccine has triggered her asthma. It's worse than it has been for some years.

I'm not quite sure what I will do about a covid 19 vaccine. I guess at least I'll wait as long as possible, to see how others are effected first. (Very selfish indeed, but I feel like I can't take a relapse)
 

Blue Jay

Senior Member
Messages
730
Thank you so much for all your replies. At the moment I'm tending towards not having one but I'm not altogether decided. My husband has to ask his oncologist whether he can have a vaccination while on chemo. It's a long time since I had 'flu or a cold which may help me reach my decision. Another thing is we're not mixing with many people.

Thank you @lenora for reminding me about shingles vaccine. For my husband, again he'll have to check with the oncologist.

I'm aware the vaccine thing has been discussed before but it seemed appropriate to bring it up again with the times we're in.
 

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,600
Hello @Blue Jay.....I totally agree that things are definitely different this year. I had the Hong Kong flu when I was a teen. I felt ill starting in January, but was still wearing an undershirt in July. Imagine a teenager doing that? I've often wondered if that was the beginning of my ME....the severe exhaustion, although I was working hard at school, had a permanent part-time job which required heavy lifting and then came home to do homework and help with things there. Since then I've always had the flu shot and never the flu again. My husband began to get it when I was so ill after my first surgery and I was getting one virus after the other that he caught from people he had contact with. He absolutely wants me to have the vaccine, so I will. I'm hoping that our country (with its many trials) will have a vaccine available by the end of December anyway. Not so sure I'd trust anything from other countries.

Your husband should absolutely ask about the flu and shingles vaccines before doing them, but then you're quite aware of that tidbit. I have no immune system any longer, so I really am prey for anything. Take good care...Yours, Lenora.
 

toyfoof

Senior Member
Messages
1,173
Location
Sedona, AZ
I get the flu vaccine every year. Never an issue.

I will, however, wait on the COVID vaccine. I don’t trust the way everything is being rushed and feel there is significant political influence driving the rush. I follow a lot of virologists and immunologists that don’t have a financial or political stake in the game, and I’m listening to them. When we know it’s got a good safety profile — maybe a year or two from now (I’m just spitballing but I know we won’t know this in November this year!) — then I will get it.
 

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
Messages
12,531
Do you have a vaccination each year or avoid it?

An issue to consider is simply: what is your exposure level? Do you stay in mostly, or go out often.

As someone who stays in often- I prefer to avoid the vaccinations.

I am with @toyfoof on COVID vaccinations- the first of which will be one that attempts to change our DNA. NO thank You.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,317
Location
Alberta
How would a vaccination help you, if your immune system- does not exist?

Good catch. Vaccinations aren't something that magically blocks or destroys viruses; they simply teach our immune cells (t-cells?) to recognize specific markers, so that if you do encounter a live virus, your immune system can hopefully destroy it quickly.

@lenora , you have several immune systems, and they must be working to some degree, or you'd be dead. You might have some problems in some functions, but it would be useful to figure out what they are. For example, if your immune system problem is that your t-cells are slow to react to new viral proteins, then vaccinations would probably be a good idea. If your problem is overreaction to viral proteins, then it might be a bad idea. If you do have an abnormal immune system, then it might be a good idea to talk to an immunologist about it; maybe he can offer some useful advice.
 

Rebeccare

Moose Enthusiast
Messages
9,049
Location
Massachusetts
In my years reading on these forums, some people seem to do fine with vaccines and others find them more problematic, albeit more usually only temporarily.
That's what I've seen here. I have had mild reactions to the flu vaccine in the past--I've felt ill for a few days, and at times I've even got hives. But overall it hasn't had any lasting effect on me. I've had the flu three times in my life, and I would much prefer the vaccination to the illness.

That being said, it will be interesting to see what this year's flu season looks like. Since people are practicing social distancing, washing their hands ad nauseum, and wearing masks, it could be that the flu will spread less than it normally does. And if you anticipate having minimal contact with the outside world until next spring, you might be very unlikely to get it.

I've heard about how some vaccines give a general immune boost that might help protect against a severe case of covid. I wonder if the flu vaccine might also have a protective effect? I found this article: which suggests that it is possible: https://www.news-medical.net/news/2...-against-COVID-19-severity-and-mortality.aspx

So it might still be worthwhile to get a flu shot if you know that you're not likely to have an adverse reaction from it (which some people here do)

I am with @toyfoof on COVID vaccinations- the first of which will be one that attempts to change our DNA. NO thank You.
I just recently stumbled across an article that explains how this is a myth: https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-...-will-genetically-modify-humans-idUSKBN22U2BZ

Scientists are using genetic material from the virus to teach our immune system to recognize it and respond to it, but that material is not changing our DNA in any way.

Even so, I think I might prefer to wait for a little while to see how people respond to a vaccine before getting it myself. I also want to make sure that they've worked out all of the kinks in the process of producing the vaccine and monitoring its quality.
 
Last edited:

lenora

Senior Member
Messages
4,600
I have/had severe seizures due to a fairly new illness (just found in Janurary), called Autoimmune Encephalitis. There was a lot of interest in it, so many doctors showed up. Apparently it destroyed the rest of my immune system. Apparently it makes a difference as to whether the virus used in the immunizations is live or dead, now they typically use dead ones in the medium.

To be honest, it's a huge surprise that I've lived this long. It's interesting to read what you have to say and I thank you for letting me know. Would you think a vaccination against the Coronavirus would be of any use to me? If nothing else, my husband will feel better knowing I've had them.

You sound very knowledgable and I would be interested in learning more. Thanks, @Wishful ! and all you other wonderful people. There is so much to learn and everything keeps changing so rapidly. And what if I do have no immune system...then it wouldn't matter if I did get the vaccines (at least we're doing proper trials. The one in Oxford only has 1,000 patients, we're on our 3rd trial with 30,000. It's a tough decision, but decisions have to be made. You obviously know more than I do about this particular problem...it's helpful and I'll consider looking up whatever I can find on the matter. Thank-you. Yours Lenora.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Seadragon

Senior Member
Messages
761
Location
UK
I will, however, wait on the COVID vaccine. I don’t trust the way everything is being rushed and feel there is significant political influence driving the rush. I follow a lot of virologists and immunologists that don’t have a financial or political stake in the game, and I’m listening to them. When we know it’s got a good safety profile — maybe a year or two from now (I’m just spitballing but I know we won’t know this in November this year!) — then I will get it.

Agree with this