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Do you get shingles from a flu shot?

By Anonymous November 27, 2008 - 1:51am
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I got shingles after getting a flu shot? i read where there were others that got the shingles after getting a flu shot

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EmpowHER Guest

I got my flu shot in November 2013. Two weeks later I came down with a severe case of the flu. I wound up in Urgent care with the flu and severe respiratory infection. I was put on antibiotics. But, the symptoms never fully went away. Two weeks later, I was in the ER with the most intense pain located deep in my right rib cage and spreading from my spine to my breast bone. The first thing the doctor told me was he was sure it was Shingles. At the time I didn't have a rash or any blisters. He told me you don't have to break out in a rash to have Shingles. I was unaware of this. All I know is that it was the most intense bruised yet burning sensation I had ever known. After a full work-up it was determined that I had Shingles. The doctor told me that it would get worse before it got better. I was put on Acyclovair and Neurontin. The doctor was right. A few days after my trip to the ER I did break out in blisters. I had them on my side, chest, side of my head, neck , face and wrist. For a month now I've been dealing with this. And, another round of the flu. I've never had these types of issues and was a fairly healthy person. I am not sure if there is correlation with the Flu shot and Shingles, but as for me I will NEVER get one again!

March 9, 2014 - 8:14pm
EmpowHER Guest

I received a flu shot on October 24, 2013. Four days later I had some itching on the back of my ear and bottom of my hairline. I asked a co-worker to look at it. She thought it was spider bites. Well, the gland on my neck was so swollen and then the nightmare started. I went to the doctor and his diagnosis was acute dermatitis, but told me I was contagious and couldn't go to work for 10 days...????? He told me that since the rash was in 2 different sectors, he didn't think I had shingles. OK...the rash spread to the front of my ear, inside my ear, on my neck , shoulder, on my scalp, lower part of face and on my chest, all on the right side of my body. And of course, it wasn't caused by the flu shot. I was prescribed Valtrex and Gabapentin. I took the meds and took my time off from work. When I went back to work, I came home and went to bed...I'm still doing that. Now, it's December 28, 2013 and I feel like it's starting all over again. The two places where it started are starting to flare up...pain shooting up my neck, pain in my ear and the rash has never gone away. Where the rash was it was all swollen up. The swelling has gone down and the scabs have fallen off, but you can still see the bumps left over . I have the chills all the time. Not like me...I'm always hot. I'm a 57 year old female in good health. What's going on?

December 8, 2013 - 5:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Your story sounds very similar to mine. I broke out just like you did. I've had two doctors tell me, "yes, it's Shingles" And two that just shook their heads and said they had no idea what was wrong with me. I even made them aware that this all started after having had the flu shot. I'm now on a round of antibiotics, Gabapentin and Valtrex. I hope you're feeling better.

March 9, 2014 - 8:19pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I mistyped : Now it's December 28th...meant December 8th!

December 8, 2013 - 5:51am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Patty Raimond)

Hi Patty

I knew you meant the 8th!

II think you may need a second opinion - go to another doctor and ask to be reevaluated. Shingles can take a long time to end and your symptoms are very similar to to shingles. Keep us posted and bear in mind that most doctors deny that shingles can occur after a flu shot but according to so many of our members, that may not be true. Stand your ground!


December 9, 2013 - 1:55pm
EmpowHER Guest

I got shingles on my right upper thigh about 2 weeks after a flu shot at Walgreens. I never had chickenpox so where did this come from? I see my dr Monday see what he says

November 9, 2013 - 1:51pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Are you sure you never had chickenpox as a young child and simply don't remember it? To get shingles, you have to have had the chickenpox virus. If you have never had chickenpox, then there is a possibility that you have it now, and not shingles. I'm interested in what you doctor tells you - will you let us know?



November 11, 2013 - 12:52pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Doc said it was shingles and that I MUST have had chickenpox as a child. I truly believe I did not. This is now March and I still have a few blemishes on my thigh. Can I now get a shingles vac. to prevent future outbreaks?

March 10, 2014 - 7:03am
Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anonymous,

According to the Mayo Clinic, "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."

The chickenpox vaccine and the shingles vaccine may help prevent shingles. However, in your situation, it is too late to receive the shingles vaccine because you have already had it. The shingles vaccine is used only to prevent the infection, and not to treat people who have the infection.


March 10, 2014 - 11:35am
EmpowHER Guest

Sadly, most medical doctors are clueless. A million people can say they got shingles from a flu shot, or erectile dysfunction from cholesterol medicine, or cancer from a cigarette and they'll tell you there is no connection until some textbook tells them otherwise. I got shingles after a flu shot too! First flu shot didn't work - got the flu. Twenty years later - 2nd flu shot shingles! Last flu shot EVER!

December 1, 2011 - 2:55pm
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