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Swine flu & vaccines with Fibromyalgia or CFS

Saturday 3 October 2009

NeedleAdrienne Dellwo offers her thoughts on the merits (or otherwise) of swine flu vaccinations for people with ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia:

H1N1 (Swine Flu) & Vaccines With Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

To be or not to be vaccinated against the flu is a question those of us with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome wrestle with every year. The big problem is that there are valid arguments for each choice.

This year, though, with the expectation of another rise in H1N1 (swine flu) on the horizon, the question takes on a whole new significance. It's easy to become scared and confused when you're confronted by the information, potential dangers, and necessary decisions.

The primary reason some of us choose not to get a flu shot, and some experts recommend against it, is that they can cause our symptoms to flare. If your flares are severe and long lasting, this may be enough to dissuade you.

However, you have to weigh that against the fact that when we do get the flu, we tend to get a bad case. When considering these factors, it might help to consider your flu risk:

* Have you had the flu frequently?
* Do you have school-aged children?
* Do you come in contact with a lot of people at work?
* How compromised is your immune system?

Now, of course, we also have to consider the separate H1N1 vaccine. The considerations are essentially the same, but when considering this particular strain many of us who don't normally get a flu shot may decide the vaccine is the lesser risk.

It's important to note that the H1N1 vaccine is separate from the regular seasonal flu vaccine. That means you can get the H1N1 vaccine and not the seasonal one. Be specific when you talk to your doctor to make sure you're getting the shots you want -- not more or less.

Here's more information about H1N1 and the vaccine, from my Colleague Kristina Duda, RN, Guide to Cold & Flu:

* All About the Pandemic Swine Flu Vaccine
* Your Complete Guide to Swine Flu
* Planning for Swine Flu in Schools
* What You Can Do to Prevent Swine Flu

Have you decided whether to get flu shots this year? Which one(s) are you getting? Why? What flu-shot experiences have you had in the past? Help us all learn by leaving a comment below!

The article originally appeared here.

More on swine flu:

3/10/09: Swine flu & vaccines with Fibromyalgia or CFS

1/10/09: Australian swine flu advice

25/09/09: What should an FM or ME/CFS patient do about the swine flu?

11/08/09: Swine Flu and ME/CFS – Questions and Answers updated

23/07/09: Swine Flu and ME/CFS – Questions and Answers



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