Facebook Pixel

Can You Get Shingles from the Flu Shot?

By HERWriter
Rate This
Can a Flu Shot Cause Shingles? Auremar/PhotoSpin

Can you get shingles from the flu shot?The short answer is no.

The longer answer is below, and will help you filter through the information and misinformation you might have heard about a possible connection between shingles and the flu shot.

Facts about the Flu and the Flu Shot

Health Canada describes influenza as a viral infection that affects the nose, throat, and lungs. According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, it is estimated that between 1976 and 2007 the number of those who caught the flu ranged between a low of 3,000 to a high of 49,000 people.

During a normal flu season (October to May) 90 percent of deaths associated with the flu occur in people aged 65 years and over.(1)

The traditional flu vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses – the human H1N1 strain and the H3N2 strain – and one influenza B virus. The vaccines contain an inert version of the virus so that you don’t get the symptoms or pass the virus to others. However, your body develops antibodies towards those strains, giving most people complete immunity from those virus strains.

There is still the chance that you can get the flu even if you have had the flu shot. The hope is that because you’ve had the flu shot, your symptoms won’t be as severe, and the duration of your illness will be shorter than without the vaccine.

You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Again, the flu vaccine contains a “dead” version of the virus that does not infect or cause symptoms. In some cases, people have already been exposed to the virus and don’t know it.

Symptoms can appear one to four days after exposure. It takes two weeks for your body to develop flu antibodies from the flu shot.

Facts about Shingles

Shingles is caused by a completely different virus than Influenza. It is actually caused by varicella-zoster virus -- the same virus which also causes chickenpox.

Add a Comment9 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Every year, the lemmings at my job all run to get their free flu shots. They promptly come down with flu-like symptoms, miss work, and sneeze all over me. I'm always the last to get sick and it doesn't last long. I make it a point to never get a flu shot. Stay away from doctors and "free" shots. Both are bad for your health.

February 7, 2015 - 10:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

Flu shots are a waste of time

January 29, 2015 - 10:40am
EmpowHER Guest

All I can say is that we never heard of Shingles until they came out with the Chicken Pox vaccine and then the shot for Shingles. There is no doubt in my mind which came first.

January 24, 2015 - 11:47am
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

Shingles has been around long before the chicken pox vaccine.

March 7, 2015 - 6:47am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am so glad that you were aware that shingles has been around many years before the vaccine. It is very frustrating to see comments from people who, through their own ignornace, have no understanding of the plethora of diseases and viruses that exist. I am always interested in reading and educating myself about the unknown.

February 14, 2015 - 3:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

Sounds to me like the short answer is "yes".
"No one really knows what triggers or reactivates the virus or why. "
So why can't the flu vaccine trigger it? It is perfectly plausible that it is a mechanism which triggers the shingles virus, creating an outbreak. That the FDA is not reporting this as a reported side effect is illegal and a cover up in my opinion.
Nor more flu vaccines for me, ever. Better to get the flu than deal with post-herpetic neuralgia for the rest of my life!

December 8, 2014 - 3:09pm
HERWriter (reply to Anonymous)

There's a difference between saying something "causes" a disease or illness and triggering them. Shingles is not "caused" by the flu shot. The article was meant to address the question, does the flu shot cause Shingles, and the answer is no. Shingles is caused by a completely different virus.

January 25, 2015 - 3:31pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I'm with you on this one!!! WAY to many people have reported this as a side effect of the vaccine....

January 22, 2015 - 8:36am

Many people are fighting Autism, Aspergers Syndrome and other health problems by detoxing (removing) the Mercury included in vaccines that go by the three names thermisol, thimerosal and thiomersal from their children's body's after being vaccinated. These mercury products are added to vaccines to prevent microbial and fungus growth. Many cases of Autism, Aspergers and other health problems are being discovered soon after vaccinations that include mercury are carried out! A number of people that are concerned about Autism and other related and unrelated disorders are now suggesting that the ingestable natural mineral called Zeolite will do the best job of safely removing this mercury from the body as well as lead and all other toxic heavy metals. For more information on this important detox do a simple search for the single word Zeolite or search for " Detox With Micronized Zeolite"

November 28, 2014 - 10:36am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!