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Rosa Cabrera RN

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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?


Add a Comment255 Comments

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

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
EmpowHER Guest

Well, Well, husband had flu shot and developed shingles four days later... normally VERY healthy. We're health freaks! I'm a retired nurse and have had Physiology and Microbiology and all kinds of stuff, and believe me, it's very possible. The comments about the immune system being, basically, busy making antibodies to fight the flu, would be the reason. It's preoccupied, and the shingles slips by unnoticed. Only a theory, but I'll most likely NEVER have another one!

November 4, 2014 - 10:43am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Son of a gun....I got the shingles last year 4-5 days after my flu shot. I seldom get sick and prided myself for that at 57 years old. I had deduced what you said last year. My immune system was busy building antibodies and the Shingles say hey...nows our chance!

November 8, 2014 - 7:41pm
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