Flu Shots/Shingles vaccine?

Has anyone been advised on the benefits vs risks of flu shots? What about shingles vaccine for the over-50 crowd? I've got an appointment with a new sd-savy rheumy in about a month, so I'll ask him before I decide what to do myself, but I was curious what others have been told.

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I was told by my rheumatoloigist that flu and shingles shots were fine. I get flu shot every year. Had shingles shot three years ago no adverse effects.

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I have not taken the flu shot for years. The last time I took it I was in bed sick for 3 months. I have limited sclero. My doctors leave it up to me. I am allergic to a lot of antibiotics. I may have been allergic. I am not sure if that is the case for not. Good luck on your choice. I think each individual is probably different. I am very careful when around people. I wear gloves in the winter. I think that helps.

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My doctors (primary and sclero specialist) have always strongly advised me to get the flu shot, and I do, because the flu is scary. The last two times I've gotten the vaccine, though, i've gotten a "mini-flu" for a few days afterwards, but my doctors don't seem worried by that. I guess our immune systems tend to be over-enthusiastic about everything.

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I've been advised to also get the pneumonia shot when I get the flu shot. Has anyone else been advised that too?

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I get a flu shot, never the nasal spray, every year. Though I'm no longer on immunosuppressants, it's not a risk I want to take with the live virus in the nasal spray.

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I get a flu shot every year, and also had the shingles shot recently. No problems with either. My Rheumy recommended both due to the danger of contracting either flu or shingles with a compromised immune system.

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My rheumy encourages me to get a flu shot every year and I have had no adverse effects. I am now recovering from shingles and I would encourage anyone who is offered the vaccine to take it!

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I get the flu vaccine nevery year-no problems.I have recurrent shingles and the last time I got shingles in my eye(also have sjogrens).The infectious disease specialist strongly recommended the shingles vaccine which I did get in hopes of reducing if not eliminating further problems with shingles.I take valtrex daily too-shingles in the eye is very painful and I don't want a repeat of that.

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I would get the flu shot but, I am deathly allergic to eggs so it is contraindicated..they are supposed to be making a new formulation sometime in the future without using the chicken egg...

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The pneumonia vaccine is essential for anyone with potential lung issues--like scleroderma patients. I've been told that you only need it once, not every year like the flu vaccine. It's not routinely offered to young folks (under 60? 65?), but if you have scleroderma you should ask your doctor if your should get the pneumonia vaccine earlier. It doesn't protect against all forms of pneumonia, but it does greatly reduce your overall risk.

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Thanks for the replies - I've always gotten flu shots and never had a problem, but was debating about asking for the shingles (and pneumonia - that was a good suggestion), since I'm still under 60 but getting awfully close...!

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I get the flue shot every year and I've had the pneumonia shot. I can't remember for sure, but I thought the pneumonia shot lasted 5 years. They gave it to me because when I get a cold it tends to end up as bronchitis and borderline pneumonia. Z pack combined with prednisone is the only thing that knocks it out of me, usually in July (who knows why) and if I overdo like when we moved last year(packing/unpacking).
Nancy

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I was wondering this same thing. I have also had the flu shot, but I wasn't sure whether to get it this year or not. I go back to the doc on the 21st. As for the pneumonia shot - it will last anywhere from 5-10 years, it depends on your body and anything going on. Always talk to your docs about these vaccines - especially with a compromised immune system.

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I get a flu shot evey year, and a pneumovax every 5 yrs. My doctor advised me not to get the shingles vaccine as it is a "live" virus rather than a dead one. she was nervouse about throwing a live virus into the mix. I sometimes get wierd reactions to things that are supposed to be good for you - so I usually err on the side of caution. And with the bronchial problems that I get, seemingly at he drop of a hat, the flu shot can be a lifesaver for me.

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Sweaters,
If you have had chicken pox you have a 50% chance of getting shingles. I believe that the odds greatly increase for those of us with auto-immune disease because of our compromised immune systems. Of those people who get shingles, 20% develop a condition called postherpetic neuralgia - an absolutely wicked affliction. The shingles virus leaves nerve endings in the skin so hyper-stimulated that a breeze or the brush of fabric across the skin can trigger the nerves to produce a painful burning sensation that comes and goes, sometimes for months after the shingles are gone, sometimes for years. Some sufferers are chronic.
I now suffer from postherpetic neuralgia. Nobody wants this. To say that postherpetic neuralgia causes a painful burning sensation is an understatement. When the burning attacks came on it felt like my flesh was being seared at 300 degrees. I writhed, kicked, screamed and cried into a pillow (didn't want to scare anyone). Anti-convulsion meds are given to calm the nerves (pain killers can't touch the pain). It took about a week for the meds to kick in and the number of attacks each day dropped from over 12 to just a couple - then none - but still, I can't stand to wear clothes, especially undergarments.
Yet, the word isn't being put out about the misery shingles can cause.
I strongly encourage the shingles vaccination.

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Hi Sweaters,

My doc as well ensures that i am the first on the list for the flu shot, N1H1, and pneumonia shots. i have taken them consistently for 4 years now with no problems (the pneumonia shot every 5-7 years). My Rheumy told me that it is important not to get sick, any kind of sickness stresses out your system which isn't good for us with Scleroderma. Also, most of us are on some kind of drugs that reduces our immune system so it takes us longer to recover from an illness.

Check out the following websites: The first website is kinda older information, but good information. The second website about this is definitely more current and address all of the vaccines.

http://www.scleroderma.org/medical/other_articles/medsger_beacon.shtm

http://www.sclero.org/medical/treatments/mainstream/vaccinations.html

I don't know about the Shingles shot as this will be my first year of eligibility. :-)

God bless,

bonnie

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I had Shingles in 10/10 and the Infectious disease speclalist wanted to give me the Shingles vaccine so if it recurred I would have a "lighter" case. However, my Rheumatologist said any use of immuno suppressives that no "live" vaccine should be given. I receive 10 mg a day of Prednisone. The Infectious disease specialist thinks any dose under 20 mg/day is OK but I am going with the advice of my Rheumatologist.

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FDA now recommends over age 50:http://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm248390.htm

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Dave's Rheumy and Pulmonologist both insisted that he get both the flu and pneumonia shots. As they put it, an adverse reaction may be one person per 10,000, but flu is 1 per 10 people. Flu does kill, and people with Sclero are one of the more likely populations to have terrible problems with an otherwise minor disease.
He has not yet gotten the Shingles vaccine, but I think we will talk to his doc's about that next time we go. I saw my grandma wince when she had to walk on a freshly broken knee, but I saw her CRY when she got shingles.

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Hi Everyone on 911-
I was told by my doctor to get the flu shot but never the Shingles shot. I don't remember his explanation as that was last year.
I will see him soon and ask again.
God Bless America,
Charmaine

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