Flu Vaccine - Yes or No?

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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?


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  • Posted

    I have a friend who developed CFS/ME as a result of having the flu jab so even though I've been offered it as I have asthma as well as ME I've never had it as I don't feel it's worth the risk of having a bad reaction to it.

  • Posted

    Elaine, I was interested in your comment about your friend that reacted to the flu shot and ended up with CFS.  I have had CFS for over 20 years, but the truth is there have been times when I have wondered if that fflu shot I had could have started it all.  I ended  up with a nasty cold and that turned into a sinus infection.  The cold started within three days of the flu shot.  That turned into a bronchial something or other.  From then on I started going downhill a bit at a time.  Of course, I can't prove the flu shot was responsible, but the nurse in the doctor's office when I went back because of the sinus infection stood there while the doctor said "The flu shot can't cause sinus problems." His nurse was standing behind  him and mouthed the words "Oh yes it can."  Not out loud, but it was clear she didn't agree with the doctor.  So, I've often wondered if that flu shot was the trigger, and since I now react so negatively to many medications, I have just not gone back down that road.  The rest of my family get the flu and pneumonia shots without incident.  Maybe if ME/CFS was trying to get hold of me, that flu shot tipped me over the edge.  ???? and more ????   No clear answers for any of this, so we all have to be our own researchers and figure out what's best for us.

    • Posted

      Hi Phillis, that's interesting that you think you might have got CFS from the flu jab too. My friend worked full time and taught aerobics at night and was really healthy until her work made her get the flu jab and she has been ill ever since. Ended up losing her job even thought it was them that made her get the flu jab which made her ill in the first place. Like you the doctors

      tried to deny that the flu jab had anything to do with her becoming ill. I wonder if anyone else has developed CFS after having the jab? It might be one of the triggers for it. I got M.E. after having glandular fever and have had it 21 years but you just have to make the best of it!

    • Posted

      This is a quote"Observations on vaccine involvement in ME/CFS emerged at the First World Symposium on ME/CFS, Cambridge, UK, in April, 1990.Four eminent and well respected researchers voiced concerns over such links and three presented details at this conference.The conference proceedings were published in a comprehensive publication on this disease"researchers have know about the connection between vaccinations for over 20 years

    • Posted

      Hmmm.  So maybe my suspicions were not as off the mark as I sometimes thought?  Hmmmm.
    • Posted

      Another quote from the same medical paper on ME and vaccinations "Special risk categories and an occupational bias with teachers, healthcare and social workers were identified by Byron Hyde et al (7), i.e. people in close contact with infections and with many routine immunizations appeared to be at an increased risk of developing ME" I worked for a medical lab for over 20 years and my worst relapse of 6 years started when I was made to have the flu shot for work in 2001

    • Posted

      Another quote from the same medical paper,'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'.thank you for giving me the idea to search this subject

  • Posted

    Vaccinations can trigger ME and CFS so I think any knowledgeable doctor would advise you not to get the flu shot,"'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'.From a medical paper on ME and vaccinations

    • Posted

      Well, the only doctors I've seen have, along with druggists, looked at me askance when I said "No" to the vaccine, but I'll continue to follow my instincts.  And, your posted information has made that much easier.

    • Posted

      I am very interested in what you have reported, especially since I've had ME for more than 20 years, and for the last 10 years i've had annual flu jabs with no problems. Any slight virus infection such as colds or tummy bugs can cause a relapse, but all I get after the flu jab are a sore arm and slight tiredness for a few days. ME is such an unpredictable and hard to explain affliction, I think it must have many different causes, and so different triggers.

    • Posted

      All the research says ME,CFS has many triggers, viral infections,bacterial infections,vaccinations , blood transfusions, the red Cross in Canada, the USA and the UK will not except blood from people with CFS including people who have recovered from CFS,young people have a good chance of making a full recovery,
  • Posted

    Hi, I had deliberations this year about having the flu vaccine and have decided against it!

    As a practice nurse in UK GP Surgery, I have routinely had the annual vaccine for past ten years or more, especially more recently with government targets of healthcare professionals being in a higher-risk group and my employer (GP Surgery) wanting to ensure their targets are met!

    However, having had annual symptom exacerbation in autumn for past three years, I seriously am wondering if the annual flu vaccine was a contributing trigger?! Particularly after last year’s major exacerbation which finally led to my referral to specialist service and subsequent confirmation of diagnosis of CFS/ME earlier this year!

    As a PN, I actually am heavily involved with flu vaccination annually and as a nurse with specialist knowledge in the field of immunisation; I am highly aware of the pros and cons!

    The flu vaccination is an inactivated vaccine and its composition is varied slightly each year to offer protection against the three most infectious strains likely to occur each winter. Having an inactivated vaccine cannot cause you to develop any of the strains within the vaccine but, it is the immune system responding to the vaccine which creates "flu-like" symptoms (aching, headache, dizziness, fever) and often people think this is "flu"!

    As the vaccination is given in the autumn and there are many other circulating viruses (mainly rhino-viruses, or common cold) at the same time, it is most likely that a person has a cold and wouldn’t usually think twice about it, except this time of year they make that mental connection that they’ve had their flu vaccine therefore it must be that causing symptoms! Hence also why it sometimes seems people have continual symptoms, it is the immune response to all the other circulating viruses!

    BUT - now having experienced CFS/ME myself, I really do think that flu vaccine for such people should be seriously considered and withheld if necessary. The problem is, with CFS/ME still not largely recognised in the healthcare arena, doctors and nurses have no idea that stimulation of the immune system by vaccination can be a large trigger factor in such an illness!

    The following link might be useful further reading:


    Stay strong! :-) ((x))

    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing your own experience and knowledge about this illness and it's connection to the flu vaccine.  Helpful!


    • Posted

      Vaccinations are a recognized trigger for CFS,just Google CFS ME and vaccinations,CFS is more likely to hit people that work in the medical field,nurses,social workers and teachers, I work for a medical diagnostic lab for over 20 years, I have a 6 year relapse around the same time the flu shot was made mandatory at work,
    • Posted

      And I was a  teacher when I first had symptoms after having a flu shot. 

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