Flu Vaccine - Yes or No?

Posted , 11 users are following.


I was diagnosed with ME/CFS in 2007.  I have just received my invitation to get the annual flu jab by my GP.  Each year I get this as my immunity is suppressed and I also have diabetes, type 2, sarcoidosis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, high blood pressure, IBS, depression etc. etc. - basically I am not a well person.  There are some who believe that this vaccine does us ME/CFS sufferers more harm than good.  I do know that if I catch a cold I am floored for weeks as I relapse badly.  Has anyone an opinion or some information on the use of this vaccine for ME/CFS sufferers?


1 like, 32 replies

32 Replies

  • Posted

    I have ME/CFS and, like you , I find I am floored for weeks by colds and other virus infections. I have had the flu jab every year for the last 10 years and it has never given me any problems. I believe it is valuable to protect me from the flu.
  • Posted

    I have post viral fatigue, transverse myelitis underactive thyroid and rare liver disorder I wouldn't have the flu jab I've only had PVF 13 weeks but I wouldn't have the flu jab before I had this PVF I've been on steriods for a while on an off over years an have been and still am on immunosuppressant for life and I've been advised by dr to have the jab but I told him my reasons why I'm declining and he understood so I'm willing to take the risk of not having it, everyone is different aren't they but for me I won't have it. I know what you mean about if you catch cold you are floored for weeks I am too, I can't take cold meds because of liver probs so I have to sit it out. It is a worry isn't it knowing what to do, but for me personally I wouldn't have it. Have you asked your dr what he/she advises 

  • Posted

    Have a word with your dr shreddie  everyone is different I wish you all the very best how are you normally after having the flu jab.
  • Posted

    Thanks everyone for the posts.  It is a dilemma.  Usually I feel unwell after having it, and need a few days at least to recover.  To be honest I haven't had flu since I started getting the jab annually and didn't think too much about whether to have it or not.  It is just that I seem a bit more prone to relapse at the moment with almost anything setting me back.  I just seem to get into a pacing routine when something whammies me and I am flat on my back....hence my reluctance this year.  On the other hand, I do live with my two grown sons who work in a busy office environment and the chances of catching flu this year are higher.  My doctor thinks the vaccination is a must for me and my sons but he also thinks I need to "push through" the fatigue and not "give in to it" as much as I do!  I reckon I will probably just take the jab again this year.  If I weigh up the risks and benefits the chances of catching flu are high and would be more severe than any relapse the vaccination could cause.  Oh dear, so much cotton wool in my head...haha!

    • Posted

      ?"Usually I feel unwell after having it, and need a few days at least to recover."

      For what it is worth, tha is fairly normal for healhty people too. My husband just had the jab, and he was poorly for about 3 days after.

      "?My doctor thinks the vaccination is a must for me and my sons but he also thinks I need to "push through" the fatigue and not "give in to it" as much as I do! "

      Ha!. In other words, he may know about flu, but he is totally ignorant about ME!

      Your call, not his.

  • Posted

    As someone wrote, we are all different.  I had the vaccine some years ago and had a reaction that lay low for months.  So, I don't get the vaccine, but I am very careful about staying away from people who have colds or symptoms of flu; also, I am a firm believer in the power of Vitamin C and take it daily.  However, we are all different, and  each of us must do our own research and weigh what we learn against what we know of our own body's reactions to meds.  I am one of those who react badly to most medicines, so the shots are not for me.

  • Posted

    I've turned them down because it really isn't worth the risk. There are horror stories about them.

    • Posted

      I've read some of those stories, too.  Even if I figure half of them are inaccurate or blown out of proportion, they remainder still make me edgy.  

    • Posted

      Me too. I think that because I'm allergic to things and my body doesn't work properly that the flu vaccine could affect me in negative ways and I don't even trust that it would stop me from getting the flu because flu viruses are changing all the time.

  • Posted

    Hi Shreddie,

    The flu shot is only 70% effective and who knows what else they are injecting into you! Mercury for one. Personally, I stay away from them, I'll rather take my chances, but that is my choice, many may disagree.  It will not protect us from colds and viruses. 


  • Posted

    I have ME and have been attenting a clinic in Copenhagen on and off for about 20 years. Their advice to me was do NOT take the jab, risk is too great. It has to be said this is out of both knowledge of ME in general but also me especially.

    I have diabetes as well and coeliac as well as AF.

    The vaccine could be effective, sometimes they are not because the virus mutates.

    I think it is one of the many personal evaluations we have to do, weiging the risk of infection we personally are at at with the risk of the vaccine we personally have - many of us are very bad at anything that stresses the liver.

    I am aware of the risk should I get the flu, but I have not had flu for 10 years in spite of travelling 3-4 times a year. I estamte the risk of the vaccine to be the greater, because I know how bad I am at anything that stresses the liver and system in general. But then I am at the allergy end of ME - overworking immune system - rather than the constant infection end.  In your shoes I migt take the opposite view - but none of us can really advice another in this.

    I would be interested in what you choose, and how it goes if you feel like telling us and can manage.


    • Posted

      I am going to read up about it a bit more and have a discussion with my sons before I go to get the vaccine.  I really appreciate all the replies - there seems to be quite a lot of strong feeling on both sides.


    • Posted

      Shreddie please bear in mind that once you have the vaccine you can't take it back so if you get problems you're stuck with them, and who knows how badly or for how long.

      If you pick up a cold or the flu you know it'll go and you can use herbs/homeopathic remedies etc to help with it.

    • Posted

      This is a quote from a medical paper on ME and vaccinations 'It is well recognized that in all three conditions, a viral infection or an immunization may precede a bout of illness. The latter is of particular significance in CFPVS, which has been reported after immunization against ­tetanus, cholera, influenza, typhoid, and more recently after vaccination against hepatitis B'.

    • Posted

      Hi Patrick, what's CFPVS? Something post viral I expect.

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