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10-09-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
DustyKat
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Flu Vaccination

The question of flu vaccination understandably arises each year. This post hopefully answers the frequently asked questions for those considering influenza vaccination. It does not go into the pros and cons of the individual with IBD nor personal experiences and beliefs.

The most important point of note regarding flu vaccination for immunocompromised persons is: The injection is NOT a live virus. The nasal spray IS a live virus. Immunocompromised persons cannot receive lives vaccines.

The composition of the flu vaccination is based on the dominant influenza virus strains predicted to be in circulation during the flu season, therefore it does not provide immunity to all the strains of flu virus that may circulate in a flu season. Australia has a trivalent (3 strain) influenza vaccine however some countries do have a quadrivalent vaccine.

*All immunocompromised persons, irrespective of age, who receive influenza vaccine for the first time are recommended to receive two vaccine doses, at least 4 weeks apart, and 1 dose annually thereafter. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/im...nise-influenza
As far as I can ascertain this is a new recommendation and appeared in the updated version of the The Australian Immunisation Handbook.
In people with an impaired immune system, influenza vaccination has been shown to afford some protection, but it is less effective than it is in healthy people. People with impaired immunity (irrespective of age) who receive influenza vaccine for the first time are recommended to receive 2 vaccine doses, at least 4 weeks apart, and then 1 dose annually thereafter.

http://www.ncirs.edu.au/immunisation...fact-sheet.pdf
Children and adults with egg allergy, including anaphylaxis, can be safely vaccinated with influenza. However this should be discussed with their doctor or immunisation provider.

The information provided below is of a general nature and I will attempt to make it as generic as possible.

General Facts:

What is Influenza?
Influenza, or flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. There are three main types of influenza virus that cause infection in humans - types A, B and C - and many sub-types or strains. Influenza can occur throughout the year but influenza activity usually peaks in winter.
Influenza is a vaccine-preventable illness but a new vaccine needs to be given each year because influenza viruses change (mutate) constantly. A new influenza vaccine is prepared each year to best match the strains predicted for the coming influenza season.

How long does protection from the vaccine last?
The vaccine takes 2 weeks to work and will last for about 12 months. Low levels of protection may persist for another year after. For ongoing protection a new vaccine is required each year.

Can I catch influenza from having the vaccine?
No. The vaccine does not contain any live influenza virus. Some people have a sore arm or a mild temperature after they have received the vaccine and this is a normal reaction. However, it does take around 2 weeks before the body is fully protected after vaccination. If you are exposed to someone with influenza infection during this time you may still become sick because your body is not yet fully protected.

What are the symptoms?
People with influenza typically experience some or all of the following symptoms:
  • fever and chills
  • cough, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle aches, joint pains, headaches and fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea (more common in children than adults).

Some symptoms may last for more than a week. Some people may also experience very mild symptoms, particularly if they have some immunity from a previous infection or vaccination.
Seek immediate medical advice if the illness quickly becomes worse or if any of the following occurs:
  • shortness of breath or rapid breathing
  • chest pain
  • confusion or sudden dizziness
  • persistent vomiting

How is it spread?
Influenza viruses are mainly spread by droplets made when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Influenza can also be spread through touching surfaces where infected droplets have landed.
People with influenza can be infectious from the day before their symptoms start. Adults are most infectious in the first 3-5 days of their illness, while children remain infectious for 7-10 days, and people with weakened immune systems may be infectious for longer.

Who is at risk?
While anyone can get influenza, the following people are at higher risk of complications from influenza infection:
  • All individuals aged 65 years or older
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals aged 6 months and over with medical conditions predisposing to severe influenza, namely: Cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure.
  • Chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma.
  • Other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies.
  • Chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders.
  • Impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use.
  • Children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
How is it prevented?
Influenza vaccination each year before winter arrives is the best way to prevent influenza.

Seasonal influenza vaccination is available for anyone aged 6 months and over to protect against influenza, provided they do not have a medical reason that precludes them from receiving influenza vaccines.
People at higher risk of influenza complications are strongly recommended to have an annual influenza vaccination.
Annual influenza vaccination is also recommended for those who frequently come in to close contact with other people at higher risk of influenza complications (such as health care workers, and family members), to help protect vulnerable people from infection.

Take action to stop the spread of influenza by remembering to:
  • Cover your face when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a rubbish bin.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Wash hands for at least 10 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Stay at home until you're well. Wait at least 24 hours after your fever resolves so you that you are unlikely to infect other people. Keep sick children away from school and other activities.
  • Call ahead to see a doctor. If you think you may have influenza and you need to see a doctor, call first so the clinic can take precautions to reduce the risk to other people.

How is it diagnosed?
Doctors usually diagnose influenza based on symptoms. The diagnosis can be confirmed by testing a sample of fluid taken from the back of the nose and throat or a blood sample. These tests are usually only needed if the illness is severe or if there is an increased risk of complications.

How is it treated?
The symptoms of influenza are usually managed by bed rest and taking simple analgesics for muscle aches and pains.
Children under 16 years of age must not be given aspirin-containing medications while ill with influenza. This is due to the increased risk of children developing Reye syndrome, a form of encephalitis and liver degeneration.
Specific influenza antiviral medicines can reduce the severity and the duration of influenza but need to be taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms. These medicines need to be prescribed by a doctor, and are usually considered for people at higher risk of complications from influenza infection.

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infecti...factsheet.aspx *I have altered this factsheet to remove specific Australian content.

**Children under 16 years of age must not be given aspirin-containing medications while ill with influenza. This is due to the increased risk of children developing Reye syndrome, a form of encephalitis and liver degeneration.

I had not been aware of this prior to researching for this post. As a result I have searched the use of Pentasa, Asacol, Salofalk etc in children with influenza and the same warning appears...
Do NOT use (insert 5ASA being used) delayed-release tablets if:
you are younger than 18 years old and you have the flu or chickenpox or have received a live vaccine (eg, varicella, influenza) within the past 6 weeks.
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10-09-2014, 04:07 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory
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Great post. With all the questions lately about this, it's a great resource. Thanks!
10-13-2014, 06:19 PM   #3
hawkeye
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Thanks Dusty, keep up the great work. It's that time of year again, there were a few posts/threads on the influenza vaccine over the past week or so.
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10-14-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
FrozenGirl
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Great post, got mine last week and will be pressuring everyone else in my family to get one as soon as it is available. Another thing is those of us who are immunosuppressed maybe be able to get it earlier than them general population depending on where you live.
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10-16-2014, 10:23 AM   #5
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Vaccines have been linked to many disease, mainly autism. But who knows what others, maybe crohns disease. Id stay away from the vaccines and get treated if you contract it.
10-16-2014, 02:40 PM   #6
Ihurt
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I wont take any vaccines ever. All my health issues started after receiving a flu vaccine years ago......



Vaccines have been linked to many disease, mainly autism. But who knows what others, maybe crohns disease. Id stay away from the vaccines and get treated if you contract it.
10-16-2014, 04:21 PM   #7
DustyKat
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I set up this thread purely as a site for information for those contemplating receiving a flu vaccination. The same questions regarding the issue of whether someone with IBD who is on immunosuppressant medication can receive the vaccine and what general precautions need to taken during an outbreak arises every year, hence why I posted the information. It does not push any pro or anti vaccination stance.

If you are for or against the vaccine that is fine and is an individual belief, but this thread is not here to push pro or anti vaccination agendas nor the observations of individuals who have received the vaccine.

Dusty.
10-19-2014, 07:12 PM   #8
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Just got pneumonia shot getting flu shot this week. Never has gotten either, since diagnosis doc says get both
10-19-2014, 08:37 PM   #9
nogutsnoglory
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Just got pneumonia shot getting flu shot this week. Never has gotten either, since diagnosis doc says get both
My pharmacist told me to wait a month after getting the pneumonia shot before getting the flu shot. For some reason you can get both at same time but otherwise there is a waiting period. Just confirm that it's ok with your doctor or pharmacist.
10-20-2014, 05:21 AM   #10
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I will double check, thanks for the heads up!
12-15-2014, 09:28 PM   #11
lisadc1
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I received both, pneumonia and flu vaccinations while in the hospital in October. Concerned now about the effectiveness of the flu with such an epidemic in our area. Our school district is flooded with it right now.
12-16-2014, 01:46 PM   #12
Ihurt
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I have not had a flu shot in years. For me all my health problems started after getting one back in 2003. I know everyone is different in how they will respond to them. My doctor says I should avoid vaccines at all cost. This year the flu vaccine is not any good, they did not target the correct strain that is circulating from what they are saying.






I received both, pneumonia and flu vaccinations while in the hospital in October. Concerned now about the effectiveness of the flu with such an epidemic in our area. Our school district is flooded with it right now.
12-18-2014, 05:35 AM   #13
Jennifer
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This is not a debate thread about any vaccines as mentioned by DustyKat. If anymore misinformation is shared this thread will be locked.
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Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 50mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel, Tylenol 3, Omeprazole 20mg 2/day, Klonopin 1mg 2/day (anxiety), Restoril 15mg (insomnia), Claritin 20mg
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 17 years and counting.
04-24-2015, 01:04 PM   #14
theysayitscrohns
 
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What I find odd, is the fact that at age 14 they were coming to the high schools giving the flu shot. That was the one time I got one and that was when my stomach issues started.....interesting....
05-07-2015, 06:33 PM   #15
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took shot, no problems
07-31-2015, 07:16 PM   #16
SmellyMelly
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I came down with flu/bronchitis this year. I cured myself within 12 hours by juicing organic horseradish roots and mixing it with kale juice. My goodness they were mind blowing but they worked. http://medicinalherbinfo.org/herbs/Horseradish.html

The 2015 flu season is certainly doing the rounds. Wiped out everyone at work; even though they all had the flu vaccination prior. Half the staff are still off.

Anyway that aside, I understand the flu vaccination may be of a concern if you are on medication for IBD.

But if you are not on medication, is there a risk of the vaccination in any way causing a IBD flare up?

Matter of interest - does anyone know?
09-13-2015, 09:29 PM   #17
pdx
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I know that my daughter with Crohn's should get the flu shot, rather than the nasal spray. Can my other daughter get the nasal spray, or is it better if everyone else in the family also gets the shot?
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Current treatment:

Remicade started 12/24/14 (currently on 9 mg/kg every 6 weeks)
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09-13-2015, 10:01 PM   #18
FrozenGirl
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I know that my daughter with Crohn's should get the flu shot, rather than the nasal spray. Can my other daughter get the nasal spray, or is it better if everyone else in the family also gets the shot?
I have been told if you can try and have everyone in the house have the shot rather than the nasal mist as there is theoretically a risk of "shedding" the virus. It's not 100% proven that there can be transmission but to be safe if you can I would have everyone get the shot.
09-13-2015, 10:06 PM   #19
my little penguin
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We were told the same thing
Everyone else has to get the shot in the family
I have the option for the mist
But due to the others have been advised to get the shot
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09-14-2015, 06:45 AM   #20
Lisa
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Yes, I was told all should get the shot, no nasal mist.....
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30 plus years and counting with UC/Crohn's!
on remicade since 11/05

While my experiences may not be what everyone has had- I feel it is worthwhile to share any and all experiences that may be beneficial to others.
02-19-2016, 10:35 PM   #21
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Despite the fact that I was continuously told that it was just a coincidence, I got the worst flare out of the blue - right the next day after recommended flu vaccine shot.

More than a month of severe absolutely non-stoppable bleeding isn't a joke, and more than a month I kept asking myself - why the hell did I need this damn shot?!

No need to say it was my last flu shot. Ever.
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Last edited by Zim; 02-20-2016 at 01:27 AM.
02-22-2016, 11:59 AM   #22
hcrum87hc
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I never received a flu shot growing up, but I decided to get my first one in October 2014, about 5 months after my CD diagnosis. The weekend after getting my shot, I developed Parsonage Turner Syndrome (brachial neuritis, brachial plexus neuropathy, or acute brachial neuropathy). I've had this before in 2005 after graduating high school.

From Wikipedia: "The syndrome is idiopathic; although many specific risk factors have been identified (such as; post-operatively, post-infectious, post-traumatic or post-vaccination) the aetiology is still unknown. The condition manifests as a rare set of symptoms most likely resulting from autoimmune inflammation of unknown etiology of the brachial plexus. (The brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves through which impulses reach the arms, shoulders and chest.)"

Basically, I couldn't lift my arm at the shoulder and lost a lot of strength in my lower arm. I can't say for certain that it was the vaccine, but I decided not to risk it this year as it takes many months for the nerves to heal, and I'm still not where I was before that happened. I've bought vast amounts of hand sanitizer and am very careful to use it and keep my hands away from my face.
11-17-2016, 04:02 PM   #23
Grant
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I've had the flu shot for @ least the last 6 yrs with no belly problems afterwards. Unfortunately last year in UK they got the wrong strain & my wife, my granddaughter & myself all got the flu. Very nasty & it took about 2 months to shake it off.
But all the time I'm immunosuppressed I'll have the jab. Flu can be a killer after all.
Grant
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11-22-2016, 02:11 PM   #24
Tuff
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I just got the flu shot. I had to get it two weeks after my Remicade infusion. The pharmacist said the flu is really nasty this year, and I don't want to get it. I've had seven colds so far this year, and finally quit my job to get rid of the co-worker who kept giving them to me.
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11-26-2016, 04:01 PM   #25
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I use to get the Flu Shot yearly. My company actually paid for it, and I blindly requested the injection and oddly enough I was sicker than ever back then. My ego and pride didn't allow me to apply for disability, though 100% I would have received it

It's been 4 years since I've received a flu shot, or any vaccine, and I've never felt healthier. No meds, no flares, rarely a symptom, high energy, clear minded and focused, no pain.

Did one lead to the other, I don't know, I wish I knew for sure.

Not to get political, but I find it interesting that our President Elect, Donald Trump has gone on the record to state he 1) has never gotten a flu shot 2) has never gotten the flu and 3) believes his son, who has Autism, or is on the Autism Spectrum, may have gotten it from Vaccine's. I don't know if this is true, but I heard it in a video. It's going to be an interesting next four years!
11-26-2016, 07:25 PM   #26
FrozenGirl
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I use to get the Flu Shot yearly. My company actually paid for it, and I blindly requested the injection and oddly enough I was sicker than ever back then. My ego and pride didn't allow me to apply for disability, though 100% I would have received it

It's been 4 years since I've received a flu shot, or any vaccine, and I've never felt healthier. No meds, no flares, rarely a symptom, high energy, clear minded and focused, no pain.

Did one lead to the other, I don't know, I wish I knew for sure.

Not to get political, but I find it interesting that our President Elect, Donald Trump has gone on the record to state he 1) has never gotten a flu shot 2) has never gotten the flu and 3) believes his son, who has Autism, or is on the Autism Spectrum, may have gotten it from Vaccine's. I don't know if this is true, but I heard it in a video. It's going to be an interesting next four years!
Sigh. Honestly if you aren't here for support, you and your anti-vac stance can stop. Vaccine are safe, effective and don't cause autism. They are especially importantly to immunosuppressed people (as most of us are) due to a higher risk of complications like opportunistic infections. Have whatever political thoughts you wish but stop suggesting vaccines are dangerous, they're not.
11-27-2016, 12:33 AM   #27
Jennifer
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I use to get the Flu Shot yearly. My company actually paid for it, and I blindly requested the injection and oddly enough I was sicker than ever back then. My ego and pride didn't allow me to apply for disability, though 100% I would have received it

It's been 4 years since I've received a flu shot, or any vaccine, and I've never felt healthier. No meds, no flares, rarely a symptom, high energy, clear minded and focused, no pain.

Did one lead to the other, I don't know, I wish I knew for sure.

Not to get political, but I find it interesting that our President Elect, Donald Trump has gone on the record to state he 1) has never gotten a flu shot 2) has never gotten the flu and 3) believes his son, who has Autism, or is on the Autism Spectrum, may have gotten it from Vaccine's. I don't know if this is true, but I heard it in a video. It's going to be an interesting next four years!
This thread is meant to simply share information regarding the flu vaccine. It's not a place for debate or suggesting that it makes people sick. It also has nothing to do with any other vaccines other than the flu vaccine.

There is no credible scientific proof that vaccines cause Autism but there is plenty showing that they save lives and protect people.

This thread is now closed.
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