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Chemo and Flu Shots.

CessnaFlyer's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Aug 2009

I’m getting chemotherapy treatment with 5-FU and Leucovorin (not Oxaliplatin) and I’m wondering about a flu shot? I know chemo is supposed to suppress the immune system and I’m wondering if that might make it more likely that I’ll get the flu from the shot. Also, I’ve read that this year’s flu shot has caused Autoimmune Diseases such as Guillain-Barré. Have any of you had your flu shot yet and how did it go for you?

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

High Cessna,
I have not had the shot. There have been quite a few posts lately about it. If you search on this site you may find more info about it. I mentioned it to my Onc and she said we'll talk about it when they get it in. Personally, I have never had a flu shot but I am considering it this year. I have to wait and see

mommyof2kds's picture
Posts: 522
Joined: Mar 2009

HI, My oncologist recommended that I get it. However it is not known how effective it will be because if getting chemo, the same with the H1N1. I haven't had the shot yet, I am thinking oct, the flu shot is only good for 3 mths, and flu season goes till march/apr.. Petrina

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

I got both the flu and pneumonia shots, in the oncologist office. I think the concern is more that blood counts and numbers are low during chemo, making it more likely that one can't fight off infections or the flu as well. I did not have a cold or the flu or anything other than chemo related sick. And that was a good thing.

dianetavegia's picture
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mar 2009

This years flu shot has NOT caused any more GB than in previous years. The Swine Flu vaccine HAS caused many cases and it is a separate shot (s). (First requirement was 2 shots 3 weeks apart. Can be given same time as the flu shot but in the other arm. New reports say 1 shot may be enough)

The flu shot is made from a dead virus so could not cause you to get the flu.

My onc had signs up in his office reminding patients to get a flu shot. Personally, I will NOT get the Swine Flu vaccine because the incidence of GB and death is too high. I'm a stay at home mom and our youngest son is home schooled. Hubby teaches.... and he may get both shots.


PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Diane writes: "This years flu shot has NOT caused any more GB than in previous years. The Swine Flu vaccine HAS caused many cases and it is a separate shot (s)."

The 1976 swine flu vaccine did cause some cases of GB. I have not seen any statement other than yours that this years swine flu vaccine has caused any cases of GB whatsoever. If it is really true that this year's swine flu vaccine has caused many cases of GB, I would like to see a reference for this.


kimby's picture
Posts: 804
Joined: Oct 2007

Starting my 3rd year of chemo, just got my flu shot (as usual) at the cancer center before chemo. I've gotten one for about 10 years now. Works for me.


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