Pneumonia jab

Today my husband has received an appointment to get his Pneumonia jab. I believe it’s a new directive from 24th March this year and it’s currently advised for all patients over 65 and those with certain conditions including those with, heart (my husband) & lung conditions, diabetes mellitus, those with no spleen and those with a weakened immune system. As many of us are on DMD’s, which mostly give us a weakened immune system, has anyone received notification of this? I haven’t yet, but then again I’ve not heard about my annual flue jab yet, after all it’s still summer, isn’t it? Anyway, I have an appointment with my GP next week to discuss some blood test results, as they wanted to check several levels including my vitamin d as one of my GP’s didn’t want me self prescribing! (My neuro is happy though). I will also be seeing my MS nurse next week as I’ve been on Aubagio for 6 months, but the tests have thrown up a couple of issues (my TSH level - thyroid, my lymphocytes, still low at 0.68 and also my neutrophil count, but my vit d is just within the high normal level thankfully. I’ll see what he has to say next week! I usually have the flu jab, but has anyone heard of this? Is it advisable for us guys and I presume like the flu jab it shouldn’t trigger any relapses. Sharon x

Hi Sharon

I haven’t heard of it, I assume your GP will be advising you. If it’s like the flu jab and doesn’t contain live virus then it might be OK, but check with them. I didn’t have the flu jab the year that my leucocytes were hovering around 0.4-0.6, but had it last year when it was back to 1.0.

I don’t like the idea of continuing too long with low leucocytes and neutrophils though. They’re what fight virus’s and infections respectively. And .68 leucocytes isn’t extremely low, but the normal range starts at 1.0. So it’s still low. And TSH as well, that would normally mean you have a high level of thyroxine to reduce the stimulating hormone. And that can make the rest of your body over work. So could be causing extra fatigue.

Do these levels normally drop then recover with Aubagio? Do you know how long they’ll leave you taking the drug with altered blood count?

In the main, people with MS don’t have a weak immune system, but yours sounds really quite dodgy at the moment. But maybe a bit too iffy to risk potential side effects from annual jabs.


Ahhh, thanks Sue. My lymphocytes haven’t been higher than 0.72 for a year now, which is the reasons I’ve been moved to Aubagio from Tecfidera as my levels dipped below 0.5 at Christmas and I was a changed to Aubagio when my levels moved to 0.72, but it looks like they’ve still not recovered to over 1.0. I was lucky last winter not to have any bad coughs or cold viruses, but I think vitamin d helps to keep your immune system boosted too. I realise it’s the DMDs job to help keep the levels low when on these drugs, but not too low, obviously. I’ll see what everyone has to say next week! Sharon x

Hiya I had my pneumonia jab a few years ago as the same time a the annual flu jab. I was told you only need the pneumonia once to be covered. The reaction to it was the same as the flu jab… a sore arm.

In my view it’s well worth having if your GP recommends it.


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I had a flu and a pneumonia jab last year. Wheras you can get a flu jab every year, the pneumonia jab is just one for life.

My GP surgery has started the jabs.


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I had a pneumonia jab about 3 years ago.

Six months later I was in a big yellow taxi with blue lights all over heading for the district hospital.
I am told since that it was a very close-run thing,


Oh no! What happened?

Seems I lost consciousness in A&E waiting to be moved to Intensive care
Some days later I came round with tubes out of each arm, and I am told that there was one in an artery straight out of the heart.

Every time the temperature spiked they took a blood sample, and cultured it to decide which antibiotic to use.

Two weeks in intensive care/high dependency. then another two weeks convalescent. That was March 2015 in a nutshell.


And was it attributed to the pneumonia jab? Or did you have the jab then get pneumonia?

Neither (quite), I had the jab in the autumn, and got the pneumonia 18 months later.

Got out of bet one morning and knees would not hold me up, Paramedics got me back into bed. Tried again that evening, and a friend got me back into bed. Wife panicked and phoned younger daughter (a nurse) who drove down from Manchester, kept me in bed the next day, checked temperature and pulse and phoned GP. Junior GP arrives, does the same checks, phones for an ambulance, and then tells me I am on my way.

The fun was getting me from bed to the stair-lift, being towed on the chair from my office was the only way.



It all sounds really scary. Possibly more for your family than for you?

I can just imagine the trip to the stair lift!