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Mary E.
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,

I just tried to look this up online, but didn't find answers, so thought I'd ask you guys.  My mother and I have been waiting to get flu shots from one of the many clinics around.  There are two coming up this week, but I have either a really bad cold or the flu itself, and something is telling me that I shouldn't get a shot while sick already.  Might I be more susceptible to having stronger reaction to the shot?

At the very least, I would not like to expose a room of people to my illness (which I seem to have contracted on a flight across country).  My mother doesn't seem to think there's any danger - I know she's anxious to get her shot out of the way and also probably thinks the shot will make me better!  (But this medical knowledge comes from someone who put butter on burns and drank a raw egg in wine for a remedy.)  What do you think - is it Ok to get a shot with a bad cold?  Or should I get someone else to take my mother? Thanks in advance for any insight or info!
Reply with quote  #2 
Mary E.,
  I'm no expert, but we've been told in the past to not get a flu shot while you are ill.  Maybe you could call the clinic and see what they say. 
Reply with quote  #3 
I was just reading up on flu shots the other day and I read that it's okay to get it if you have a "mild" illness, like a slight cold. But if you're really sick, you should wait. I guess if it were me I'd go by how I felt. If I just felt a little under the weather I'd probably feel okay about getting it but if I felt really sick I'd wait till I felt better.

Don't know what it is with this year's shot, but it really hurt, made my arm sore for like three days, and I did feel sort of feverish and achy the night I got it, which has NEVER happened to me before. It must be potent!!!

Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Mary E.


Do not get a flu shot while you are already ill. Your immune system is all ready dealing with your current illness, so don't challenge it with a flu shot...especially if you are running a temperature. Please get well soon, and postpone the flu shot until you are recovered!

My daughter and I recently got our flu shots at a CVS Quick Clinic. We were in and out in a flash! Hubby's place of work gives all of their employees a freebie on site.

Mary E.
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks, ACV, Linda and Kathy,

I knew I could get answers here.  I wasn't sure if I'd dreamed it or what - but I thought I'd heard one shouldn't get a flu shot while sick.  It only makes sense, anyway, even for the others I'd be exposing this to.  Don't you hate it when you're in a crowd and hear someone coughing.  Shouldn't they have stayed home?
Reply with quote  #6 

My Physician told me to never receive a flu shot if I was running temperature. This year, like Linda, I didn't feel well the night I received my shot. I felt achy and as if I was coming down with something. I was fine the next day. My arm did become sore for 3 days. Even so, this was all worth it if it protects me against the flu. I have had it really bad twice before and it was awful.

ec kostrubala
Reply with quote  #7 
Flu and pneumonia shots

That link is from this website, Oct 19. An excerpt - "Vaccination: Prevention of influenza is best accomplished by using inactivated virus vaccines. All persons age 65 and older, and the medical personnel who care for them, should receive the influenza vaccine annually. In addition, annual vaccination may be advisable for all persons who have extensive contact with elderly persons. Vaccination should be given several weeks before the start of the influenza season. In the USA, vaccination should be given in October, although it can be given throughout the influenza season until the late winter...the vaccine is 50 to 60% effective in preventing hospitalization and pneumonia and about 75% effective in reducing deaths from influenza in hospitalized high-risk elderly patients. Diminished responses to the vaccine may occur in very elderly persons and in those who have renal failure or who are immunocompromised."

Part of what I skipped in the ... is the following:

"The only contraindication to vaccination is hypersensitivity to hens' eggs. About 25 to 50% of patients have some discomfort at the vaccine site 8 to 24 hours after vaccination. About 1 to 2% of patients have fever or other systemic reactions. The vaccine cannot cause influenza or other respiratory infection."

That said, one should not get the flu shot if one has a severe allergy to eggs, or has Guillain-Barré syndrome, or currently has a disorder that causes fever, other than a mild cold.

Please phone the agency from which you plan to get your flu shot, describe your symptoms to them, and the nurses who vaccinate will tell you if you should hold off on the shot for now. If you have a fever, definitely wait until you are well to get the shot. Your mother can get it now if she has no fever. If you drive her around as I drive mine around, and if you live in the USA, please phone your Visiting Nurses Association and see if they will come to the home to vaccinate your mother on Monday.

By the way, I was in New Mexico the other day and noticed the local newspaper advising that Flu Shots are provided free to anyone 18 and over at the local Senior Center, paid for by New Mexico's State Health Department. Good going Governor Bill Richardson! Yet another reason to move to New Mexico (they have good driving laws regarding elderly and being fit to drive) though Italy, with their great health care, and public transportation that has the USA beat hands down, not to mention everything else I love about them, is where we're heading. My elderly mother is especially looking forward to live opera.

ec kostrubala

Reply with quote  #8 
I asked Mother's hospice nurse about this since I had the flu a week and a half ago. She didn't know the answer so she inquired at the office and was told it was ok to get the shot only after all symptoms of the flu were gone--which I take to mean not only fever but aches and fatigue. Good luck with it--and I am going to get one even tho I had the flu--might be another strain out there waiting to get me next.
Reply with quote  #9 
I have been told to not get immunizations when already ill, as it may jeopardize an already compromised immune system (that is trying to "fight" something anyway).  I'd definitely wait until I felt better--be safe, not sorry!  Also, my children, MIL & I all got our flu shot this Sat.  MIL had fever yesterday & was generally achy all over--she's fine today, though.  The kids & I are sore around the injection site, but that's it.  Hubby had his shot earlier in the week & had no complaints.  I hope you feel better soon!
Mary E.
Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks again, everyone - very helpful advice. 

I told my mother that I would find her a ride to get her flu shot and that I would not be getting one just yet.  She still thinks this odd - somehow seems to feel that the shot will cure me!!  As of this morning, I can tell that although I am better, I am still in the "zone" of recovery and don't want to tax my immune system any more.  My other reason for not going, as I wrote before, I don't think it's a nice thing to do to go to a place where there are many people trying their best to stay well by getting a flu shot and being there coughing!!  Even if I'm past the point of contagion, they don't know that and may worry - or think I'm rude!!
Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Mary E,

Sorry to hear you aren't feeling that great. I would definitely wait to get the shot if I were you but it sounds like that is what you have decided to do.

Wow, seems like everyone is getting the Flu all of a sudden. Last year, I hardly even remember hearing about the Flu, at least, here in my neck of the woods.

I take my Mom every year, but I found out that the neighbor was so nice and took my Mom (and some other elderlies in the area) up to the local NH which was giving out the Flu shot one day. So Mom's all done, thank goodness. That was so nice of my neighbor to do that.
See there are still nice people in the world. Gives me hope.

'daughter' (beth)
Reply with quote  #12 
Holy $h......!!!!
I am with a cold so far and i just got the flu shot, so I guess I will let you know by tomorrow how that works, if you dont see me in the blog is because I wen to meet my maker!!!!!

Reply with quote  #13 

Every time I've gotten a flu shot they asked how I was feeling. They are not recommended when ill.

Reply with quote  #14 
interesting info on the flu shot posted by "curly." i have no idea how accurate any of it is, but i certainly would want to check it out:
Reply with quote  #15 
Please see the Center for Disease Control website:

Good luck everyone.
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