ask: Can a Flu shot lead to Shingles?

By Michelle King Robson Expert HERWriter
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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

28 year old male. Never sick. Had the flu jab, few days later shingles. Everyone denies the link.. For me it's simple, flu shot basically gave me the flu virus (dead) my body kicked into action to try and build up immunity. During this period the shingle virus which is dormant in my system flared up.

August 20, 2015 - 3:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

I was 17, with in 3 days of receiving flu mist I had a zoster rash (diagnosed). With in 24 hours of that diagnosis, I had meningitis that was also swelling the menenges around my brain. The spinal tap revealed both red and white blood cells, which is unusual for viral meningitis, however the culture was negative for bacteria/fungi; it was confirmed to be from zoster. ICU stay for five days on dilaudid....that was my spring break senior year. I've had the flu shot many times with no I'll effects, but I'll not be getting the flu mist ever again, nor will my family. It was 2006 when this happened, and even then I knew it had to be the mist (afterall, I very distinctly remember asking up during a blood draw at which point the nurse informed me that I was being tested for AIDS, leukemia, and a variety of immune compromising illnesses, as 17 year old do not usually get shingles with out cause). I wonder if/when the CDC or nhi will do a study.

February 2, 2015 - 11:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

I received the flu shot this year, and 10 days after developed SHINGLES.
Had a 5 inch diameter circular pink welt that was itchy at site of flu shot injection. Nurse said it was a topical reaction.
You have no idea how comforting it is to read all these accounts!!!

December 11, 2014 - 3:50am
EmpowHER Guest

My daughter of 11 has just been diagnosed with shingles following her first nasal flu vaccine three weeks ago, she showed flu like symptoms a week after having the vaccination & now shingles! Has been a very fit & healthy young person up to having the vaccination I think that it has effected her immune system which has now resulted in shingles, I am going to report it as a side effect as this is too many comments to be coincidence!

December 6, 2014 - 12:27pm
Erin Kennedy HERWriter Blogger

Here is an interesting article posted this week on EmpowHER that talks about the possible connection between the flu shot and shingles: Check it out to learn facts about the flu and shingles, as well as misconceptions that link the two.


December 4, 2014 - 11:50am
EmpowHER Guest

I had a flu shot on Tuesday and noticed the shingles rash on Saturday, 4 days later on my lower left torso over my ribs. I am a healthy 55 year old with very little stress. I started anti viral drug on Saturday and the rash has not increased in size but is still itchy but no pain.

November 24, 2014 - 7:03am
EmpowHER Guest

My dad got shingles after the 2009 flu shot

November 21, 2014 - 9:11am
EmpowHER Guest

The first and only time I had the flu shot I was 19. Developed shingles on my right leg less than a week later. Have not had the flu shot or shingles since. My mother is a pharmacist who is certified to give immunizations, she insists that the shingles was already brewing in my system and the shot just lowered my immune system enough for it to emerge. I want to believe her but it seems fishy to me. What 19 year old gets shingles? Especially when that was the first time getting the flu shot....

November 19, 2014 - 11:56am
EmpowHER Guest

26yo male, never had any illness other than the odd cold. Flu shot Tuesday, back pain Thursday, a rash that looked like bug bites Friday. Now it's Monday and I have a rash all down the left side if my torso.. scoured my house for bed bugs, freaked out that I was having a reaction to a filler in new generic psych med. Aaand although I feel awful right now, I'm actually kind of relieved it's shingles; no one wants bed bugs. Thanks to this site's contributors! And I'm very sorry for the people who have this much much worse...

November 17, 2014 - 5:21pm
EmpowHER Guest

Last year my 84 year old mother got a flu shot at the local pharmacy. The pharmacist gave her the shot way up high on top of her shoulder instead of in her arm, and she said it was very painful. 48 hours later she developed shingles. This year my boss got a shot of cortisone in her left hand and a couple days later she developed shingles on her left hand and in her left eye.

November 6, 2014 - 1:28pm
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