Vaccinations for travel while having ME

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Neil W, May 25, 2019.

  1. Neil W

    Neil W New Member

    Hi all,

    I'm well enough with my ME to travel abroad and I have the opportunity to go somewhere exotic, but it requires vaccinations (pretty much all UK boosters, Hep A, polio, tetanus, diphtheria and anti-malaria tablets...possibly Hep B too). I have read that having vaccinations can screw you up massively and exacerbates symptoms. I read the ME association guide on vaccinations and in short it says if you're well enough to travel then it might be ok as there isn't much evidence. Not reassuring as I can't afford to lose my job.

    Struggled to find much information on this subject...this link is the closest I can find.
    Has anyone had vaccinations since having ME/CFS? Are the risks really that low? Really interested to hear first hand experience from anyone who has had any, and what the consequences were (if any). This holiday has been on my bucket list for the past 10years so don't want to dismiss straight away but I'm very cautious about doing anything risky. Even if I don't travel abroad it raises the question of having standard UK boosters as I'm sure they're every 10 years, what do ME patients do??

  2. Edie

    Edie Active Member

    Hi Neil. I was diagnosed with FM and according to Bateman/Horner Center of excellence I also meet the diagnoses of ME/CFS.
    When I had my last Flu shot a few years ago, my pain score climbed to 10 out of 10 for 10 days straight. It then went back down to it's regular. My Naturopath Doctor told me that the flu shot damaged my Immune system, but that it would eventually recover. Since that time, he gave me the flu protection every year in bead form from the Boiron Co. You can find them on line. I do not have any reaction to their Flu beads and I get the new Flu protection ones every Fall.
    I would be very weary of getting all those shots at once. I remember reading about USA soldiers getting multiple shots before going to war in the Middle East and some of them coming down with ME/CFS or FM, even though some had not actually gone at all. That tells me that it was the multiple shots given at one time that caused their illness.
    If I was in your shoes, I would not take the chance!
  3. Neil W

    Neil W New Member

    Hi Edie and thanks for that. I also started out diagnosed with FM but morphed into ME...the boundary for me is a bit fuzzy!

    Well the trip in question would be flexible in terms of timing and there would be lots of prep, so the thinking was to have the jabs spread out over 6 months or even a year...definitely not at the same time! Would that be better in your opinion?

    What is flu in 'bead form? Is it like a tablet?
  4. Edie

    Edie Active Member

    Hi Neil. I'm not qualified to give you advice on whether it is safe for you to have even one injection. I was just alarmed that you might have several at one time.
    I would try and find a Naturopath Dr.(physician) who has lots of experience treating ME/CFS/FM to give you advice on that. I got most of my help from my ND. in the last 20 years. They are particularly careful when it comes to protecting the whole body and immune system from all kinds of exposures. Local support groups for our illnesses may know of a member who has experience with a particular good one that you could see. Your local Health Food store may be able to guide you to an excellent ND. as well.
    The Flu beads that I get from my ND. are from the Boiron Co. They come in small vials, 5 to a pkg. and I put 1/3rd of 1 vial under my tongue to melt, once a week, from November to April. Three pkgs are sufficient per Winter and not expensive. Every Fall they update to the new virus protection, just like the Flu shots. The Boiron Co. is a French Co., so you may be able to buy it in Europe. They also produce their products here in Canada as well. Some online Health Food stores carry their products too.
    Hope this information helps. Wishing you continued improved health!
  5. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    I believe MMR started me on the path to ME/CFS, I remember my reaction well and it took about 5 years to start my deterioration afterward (I was in the prime of health so it took some doing to wear it down, but it did). After getting a bunch of immunizations before moving, I had my first real bedbound illness (the culprit was tdap I think). So if it was me, I'd forego travel if it meant I got no vaccines. Anyway these are voluntary right? Are they going to forbid you from going home after travel? You're a citizen.

    If you must get them, why not postpone your trip for a year? They last for years, so if you get them now, and nothing happens in a year, then make your plans. Don't force yourself into a schedule that is too risky. I mean, since you said you didn't want to risk your job.

    The "evidence" you're looking for is in the controversial antivaxx community. Until people start paying attention to the antivaxxers, the controversy will continue. Nothing is served by labeling them and attempting to discredit their concerns. Start with Dr. Susan Humphreys if you want to ease into that community, she's very logical about it. They're not all nuts, no matter how often they're smeared in the press.

    Deeper in that community is Judy Mikovits PhD, who started out as a virus researcher, became an ME/CFS researcher, bumped into autism / antivaxx and lost her career over it. Her book, Plague is a lesson in pharma power over health. But I would warn you against delving in that unless you're ok with stressful reads. In my opinion she was tarred and feathered.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019