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Can a Flu shot lead to Shingles?

By Expert HERWriter October 11, 2008 - 9:42pm
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flu shot

dear michelle, a 76 year old friend recently had a flu shot and developed a case of shingles. any connection? coincidental? thanxs so much


Has anyone ever heard of this or had this happen to them?


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EmpowHER Guest

I went to the doctors after receiving a letter to go for a smear test. The receptionist handed Me a slip of paper with a large F on it. I had my test which has thankfully come back fine. When the nurse said about the flu jag I told her I'd had one about ten Yeats ago and I felt really I'll afterwards. She said that was just silly and that the benefit would far outweigh any adverse.effects. I agreed to have it and said that if I felt unwell I certainly wouldn't have it again. Since that day I have felt really under.the.weather, had stomach upset caught a cold and now shingles. Never again.

October 18, 2016 - 3:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 61 and had to go in for a new pacemaker battery. They asked me if I had the flu shot and pneumonia shot. I told them I had the pneumonia shot years ago and no I don't do flu shots. Ten days after the battery replacement I came down with a terrible case of shingles. I have been battling it for 7 months now. And the pain meds they gave me made me feel terrible and my hair was falling out terribly. I had to wean off the pain meds, they are highly addictive. And it has taken over a month to feel anywhere near normal. Dizzy and panic attacks have kept me down for weeks. I have since read that the Obama Care policy is to give those shots without your permission any time you enter a hospital, and tell them you haven't had those shots. They don't even tell your doctor. I am still very uncomfortable where the rash is, but hoping it will heal eventually.

August 2, 2016 - 8:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

Same here.... first a flu shot two days later a shingles eruption.
Both my MDs and pharmacist say that is coincidence. I am sure it is not.
Will anybody ever agree with this and start looking for class action suit or something.
I was 75 year old male otherwise healthy and never had shingles before.

June 27, 2016 - 9:27am
EmpowHER Guest

I worked in Pharmacy for years and I lost count of the number of people that told me their shingles developed not long after a flu vax- I strongly believe the two are linked- also many people who came into the pharmacy saying they have never been as sick in their lives since having a flu vaccination .. i personally would not have this vaccination!

June 25, 2016 - 3:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

Yes, it is true that you can break out in a rash after taking a flu shot. It happen to me. I got my flu shot in December. I started breaking out in these large welts on my body. They are painful and itchy.

January 22, 2016 - 4:09am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

It is important to differentiate a rash, caused by an allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine and the painful rash associated with shingles.

A person may develop a severe allergic reaction, such as a rash,
hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue, if he or she is allergic to any ingredient in Influenza Virus Vaccine, including egg proteins or egg products.

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

Anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles. After you recover from chickenpox, the virus can enter your nervous system and lie dormant for years. Eventually, it may reactivate and travel along nerve pathways to your skin — producing shingles.

The reason for the encore is unclear. But it may be due to lowered immunity to infections as you grow older. Shingles is more common in older adults and in people who have weak immune systems.


January 22, 2016 - 9:41am
EmpowHER Guest

I broke out in shingles after the flu shot and I'm a healthy 31 year old man. Of course doctors deny correlation but how many coincidences do we need to have until people realize that every medical intervention has benefits but also risks.

January 2, 2016 - 7:23am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

At 29 I got the flu shot and less than 2 weeks later had shingles. I don't care that no one says there is any correlation. I never want shingles again and since they wont give me a shingles vaccination for another 31 years, I will take chicken pox vaccinations. studies suggest the reason more younger people are getting shingles is because chickenpox is being vaccinated, and therefore not out and about entering people's immune-system and reminding them of how to fight the strain.

October 5, 2016 - 1:08pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 54 y.o. healthy female. I had my first flu shot ever on 11/19/15. Exactly 14 days later I developed a raging first time ever Shingles outbreak accompanied by Vertigo. Nevet a flu shot again. Nevet.

December 8, 2015 - 4:34pm
EmpowHER Guest

I've had shingles four times this will make five. I had the flu vaccine December 1, 2015 tonight December 4, 2015 I have broken out with the second worst shingles rash I've ever had. There must be a correlation. It's the same arm and it is traveling down the same nerve from my wrist to my upper thigh. This is going to be bad.

December 3, 2015 - 9:13pm
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