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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 took the flu shot on 10/06/2020 and started having painful,itchy rash to left underarm on 10/8, by 10/9 it felt as though someone was stabbing me with a hot knife and constant intense burning and numbness below the area. 10/10 I started getting a red, itchy rash to left shoulder blade area. I was prescribed prednisone and Valtrex. I had some triamcinolone I used for the itchiness to back and voltaren gel (lifesaver) on underarm rash. I've been using the meds for 2 days and while the blisters are still present they aren't as painful but back is still itching immensely.

October 12, 2020 - 6:11am
EmpowHER Guest

My husband got the flu shot last week and now has what sure looks like shingles on his left side of torso near the breast. He also has arm pain that the doc said should go away in 2-3 days. He is an otherwise healthy 61 year old.

October 12, 2020 - 5:14am
EmpowHER Guest

Yes it happened to me. Got a flu shot on a Friday afternoon. Sunday evening I was having like a breakout in acne near my left ear. Bad earache type feeling. Went to emergency clinic Monday evening for what I thought was an earache. They informed me I had shingles.
Never again on the flu shots for me.

August 22, 2020 - 5:23pm
Guide (reply to Anonymous)


If you believe you have had an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine, you can report it to The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Click on the link below for more information. We hope you feel better soon. 




August 23, 2020 - 12:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

I also have Shingles symptoms a few weeks after receiving a flue shot. It first started a few day after I received the flue shot. I started to get a burning tingling sensation on the side of my neck. A day or two later a Lymph node Swelled up at the base of my neck like a pea sized lump. It took about 4 days to go down. Burning stinging feel subsided a bit but never fully cleared up. About week later it started to burn an tingle again wit more intensity. Then a day after it started back up I developed a red streak behind my on side of neck that has real small blisters starting to form. That is were I’m at right now. Weird tingling on side of face and under and around my eye

January 23, 2020 - 11:27am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

So sorry to hear that you had this happen to you too. Please see your doctor, esp since it is on your face. Praying for you to get well soon!

January 23, 2020 - 3:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am so glad I found this website. Adding my unfortunate story here. Actually, I was struggling with whether to get the flu shot this year and have gotten flu shots pretty much every year for the last 20. I have heard of people having bad reactions lately and was on the fence. Well, I gave in when my doc office appt came up and got the shot. The doc assistant there told me he just got his shot too, and his arm was still sore. Fast forward 2.5 weeks later, following up my blood test results and guess who has shingles? Not just me, but the doctor assistant that administered the shot. He had his flu shot a day before mine. He was sick as a dog, with flu symptoms to boot (he's about 22 years old). Mine started like bug bites, on my left leg and then going around my back. Today I'm on Day 5 and the pain in my leg is excruciating. Just called the doc office to find out what kind of vaccine I got so that I can report it. Too much of a coincidence to me. This will be my last year getting a flu shot. Hopefully this will help somebody. I'm only 5 days in and the pain is no joke!

October 24, 2019 - 4:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am 72 y.o and have only had a flu vaccine shot once in my life back in the 90's. I got the flu vaccine on Nov 15,2018 just because of my age and pressured info out there. The vaccine name was Fluzone Quadrivalent Lot #. U6293DA. I developed Shingles on Jan 12, 2019, sought immediate medical intervention. The first 2 months were horrific . The post herpetic pain persists to this day,al be it, less but near constant awareness of the irritation, itch and "faint buzzing along the Ulnar nerve.. I had questioned my PCP about the association between shingles and the flu vaccine last month and he thought no because he never heard of it. Just today I found this info here and will inform him in no uncertain terms . I should have left well enough alone back in Nov.....Does the CDC research the connection ????????? Peace to all you sufferers.

July 11, 2019 - 7:19am
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anon
Thank you for writing. You are certainly not alone in your experience. Shingles are absolute agony for many people.
We cannot say if there is research on any possible connection between the vaccine and how it may trigger shingles. What we do know from our readers is this: there has been a correlation for all of them and all of then have been told that there is no correlation. It's very difficult for mere mortals to suggest there are serious side effects to vaccination when we are lead to believe otherwise by doctors and Big Pharma.

July 11, 2019 - 11:27am
EmpowHER Guest

I got shingles too. I had strange tingling sensations on left side day after flu shot. I thought I had a kidney stone and hospital didn't find anything. I got severe brain fog from Valtrex and stopped taking all meds including painkillers Then I had a complete recovery. I had a milder outbreak about the size of two quarters, but still hurt really bad. I had the older and less powerful shingles shot three years ago. Keep up your immune systems. I also get cold sores so my immune system is compromised.

May 20, 2019 - 11:42am
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