Shingles and Flu Shot

Edited , 40 users are following.

Last year I developed a case of shingles shortly after getting my flu shot.  I read on this forum where somebody felt that their shingles might have been related to getting the flu shot.  I have not gotten a flu shot this fall and don’t know if there is a connection between the two or not.  I’m 74 and hate to skip getting the shot but I don’t want to risk a shingles relapse either.  I also wondered if I should get the new shingles shot, which I heard was more effective than the one I got several years ago.  Can anyone else weigh in on either of these issues?

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  • Edited

    Hi - i got shingles one day after flu vax. I am immunocompromised so maybe this makes sense. for those of you who are healthy, there must be a link...

     

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  • Posted

    I too had this same issue. I’m 27 years old and I have the flu shot every year. I’m normally very healthy and rarely get sick or have any health issues. This year almost a week after getting my flu shot I developed a horrible case of shingles. Doctor told me the shot could have compromised my immune system leaving me susceptible.  One of the most horrible experiences I’ve been through health wise and for this reason I will most likely never get another flu shot. I don’t think it can be a coincidence. Every year flu shots changes because of different flu strains. How is it possible to fully analyze how people’s bodies will react to all the different shots created. I would have rather had the flu 
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  • Posted

    Did a search for Flu shot & Shingles and happened across this discussion. I also HAD to get a flu shot or be fired from the health system I work for. About a week later my case of shingles began at my rib cage right side, and a few days later had worked it's way across my side and midway across my back. The worst agony I have ever experienced in my life. It's now 2 months later and I can still see the remnants of the spots. Coincidence? No way to tell, but I will never get a flu shot again.

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  • Posted

    I also developed shingles right after getting the flu shot as a 27-year-old. I may have had lower immunity at that time, for a variety of reasons, but the timing was so exact I feel confident they were related. 
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  • Posted

    I absolutely believe there IS a connection between the flu vaccine and shingles! The same thing that so many people reported here and many other places on the internet happened to me. Within two weeks of getting a flu shot in Dec 2017, I developed shingles. Though my physical outbreak was mild, the pain was severe and left me with PHN. I understand that the two viruses (influenza and herpes zoster) are separate but I have NO doubt that there is some kind of connection between getting a flu vaccination and an increased risk of developing shingles as a result. The CDC and other health agencies need to stop brushing this issue aside as mere coincidence! It happens too often to be ignored. I bet the frequency is MUCH higher than reported because most people simply don't connect the two elements and/or have their complaints & questions dismissed by doctors as "coincidence". This issue needs to be fully investigated because shingles can be so excruciatingly painful that the thought of getting it again will keep many people from getting the flu vaccine again. And as we all know, the flu is responsible for many deaths. So please keep reporting your experience of getting a flu shot then developing shingles very shortly afterwards (within two weeks or so). Let's find out what the connection is and find a way to stop it or at least lessen the chances of developing shingles as a result of getting a flu shot! Stop listening to those who say there's no way the two are connected because the viruses are separate or simply because it doesn't always happen!

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  • Posted

    Having just felt that at last I am back to normal from shingles, I was dismayed today to find an itchy blistering pimple in the exact spot the shingles started, that looked exactly like a shingles blister. I had a flu jab first thing this morning. I rushed to the GP. As I plan to go to Spain tomorrow, shingles is the last thing I want right now. He said it's just a pimple but I said well, what if I find a shingles rash tomorrow? He said to come down to the surgery again if I do, but I don't have time for that. I persuaded him to give me a prescription for anti-virals just in case. I can't quite decide if I should cash it in and take the medication to Spain or what? I feel I should not delay but don't want to jump the gun if it is just a pimple. I don't have any pain, which I got first the last time, so hopefully it's nothing, but I did feel tired out just before the "pimple" appeared. I will anxiously have a good look in the morning. Can a flu jab be a spark for shingles? I was told over-65s like me get a stronger dose of flu jab.

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    • Posted

      Kathryn,

      I would get the Antivirals and take them with me. Travel is a huge stressor, and you should always have a supply with you, anyway, plus the analgesics.

      There is a connection between the influenza vaccine and getting Shingles, but has not been published in scientific journals.

      The CDC has become very political and I do not always trust their findings, especially from another organization, Infectious Disease Society of America.

      That being said I do get vaccinated against influenza and pneumonia with Pneumovax and Prevnar.

      I have become too ill with influenza not to get the vaccine, and have attended two funerals of a 32 year old lady and 7 year old girl (family friends) who each died of staph pneumonia 3 days after contracting the flu. They were not vaccinated.

      Do have fun in your trip!

      Bon Voyage!

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your help and the compassion that I see with which you spend time helping so many. A thought occurs to me. This does seem to be some kind of revival of the shingles, so far very mild. The one blister itches and there is mild pain where I used to get it worse. If I wake in the morning and it is no worse, but stays like that, I am not sure if it would be a good or bad idea to take anti-viral meds. Of course, if I wake with worse symptoms it will be obvious. When I go away there will be no Dr I could really ask. Really not sure, as when I start taking it, I must complete the course.

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    • Posted

      Kathryn,

      When you stated in your earlier post it itched, it sounded much more like Shingles to me. I don't think your Physician was listening to your history.

      As there is a revival or recurrent Shingles vesicle-blister at the same location as the first episode, and it hurts and itches, it is Shingles. You can wait til tomorrow morning, but definitely take the Antivirals. If it waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is indeed.... Shingles!

      You will abort the worst of the shingles, by starting the Antivirals early. I speak from experience. Also, this is no time to scrimp on expense when traveling. Make sure to go easy on yourself....Hire a porter, if necessary.

      Have a fantastic time!

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I have recurring shingles. The recurrences are always mild but I always have antivirals to hand so that I can start them as soon as the symptoms appear - usually a slight rash - and I always have antivirals with me when I travel.

      My rash usually itches like crazy and I feel 'shingly' - I get a fizzy sensation that makes me feel very edgy. It's quite unmistakable. If you've had shingles before, you'll know your own symptoms: trust them and take the antivirals.

      I'm just 12 days into the latest outbreak and I'm so glad that I had the antivirals to hand.

      David

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    • Posted

      Dear David,

      My recurrent Shingles now has extended to include my right scalp.

      I have found that a steroid nasal spray for allergies, Flonase, followed by Bactine spray, which contains 2.5% Lidocaine, has helped enormously for the severe itching fizzy feeling. I need a liquid formation due to my hair.

      As the episodes of shingles were intensifying, I decided to get the Shingrex. One injection seems to have slowed the intensity and recurrent episodes way down to one mild case, even before the antibodies have even maximized.

      I hope you and your family are doing well, as we all prepare for the holidays and winter.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I recently got my flu shot and with in one and a half weeks I developed shingles. I am 29 years old and haven't been under any real stress. I do suffer from UC so my immune system isnt 100% perfect but my doctor said that it is definitely rare in people my age. My doctor also said that the flu shot could have overworked my immune system because it was bust creating antibodies for the flu and that it could have created a perfect environment for the shingles virus to resurface. I looked online and have been shocked by how many people, especially young people have gotten the flu vaccine and then gotten shingles within 1-2 weeks. I cant believe this isnt better documented.

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    • Posted

      My doctors ran a variety of tests to determine whether my immune system was weak, but found no issue. I finished a course of prednisone weeks before developing shingles, which likely was the cause. I had shingles for over a week before the doctors figured it out too.

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  • Posted

    received the shingles and flu shots the same day on different arms of course, other than a sore arm did not have any flu symptoms.

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