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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?


Add a Comment366 Comments

(reply to Anonymous)

My name is Verina and I am looking for someone, who has caught shingles shortly after the flu shot. This happened to my mother after taking the shot during September of 2009.

July 18, 2010 - 3:21pm
(reply to verina)

Hi Verina,
I just responded to your other post regarding your mom who had a flu shot in October of 2009, and is experiencing pain at the site of her injection. You did not specifically mention if she has shingles in the previous post.

Can you tell us more about her symptoms? Have they been chronic since September/October 2009 (9-10 months), or is she just now experiencing symptoms?

Has your mom talked with her doctor about these symptoms?

July 18, 2010 - 8:16pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I am a healthy 47 year old female. I took the flu shot for the first time last year after much insistence from my employer. Two weeks later I was diagnosed with Shingles. I did not take the flu shot this year after much encouragement from my employer. I am convinced the shot brought the shingles on. I have never had the FLU or any flu-like symptoms. I have been advised by our occu-care that it is impossible to get shingles from the flu vaccine. I disagree.

October 2, 2009 - 10:30am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to agibbs)

I'm a 67 year old female who received a flu shot on Sept. 14th 2009. Two weeks after my shot, my left upper leg felt numb for a week, after which I had flu like symptoms and immediately broke out on that same leg with a painful case of Shingles. I definitely belive there is a connection between the shot and Shingles since I've never had anything like this before. I'm on a 10 day supply of 800 milligrams of Acyclovir every 5 hours along with 75 milligrams of Lyrica taken twice daily.

October 10, 2009 - 7:38pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I've been researching where to get a flu shot and over the weekend made a list of dates and times that it will be offered locally. About 2 days later I developed shingles. Before getting the flu shot. Should I conclude that merely thinking about getting the flu shot caused my shingles? I think you'll agree that this would be faulty logic.

I have been fighting a sinus congestion for the past few weeks, due to seasonal allergies. My point is that a certain percentage of people will get shingles regardless of whether they receive a flu vaccine. There is a very good chance that your immune system has been weakened a bit from the sinus issues, leading to emergence of the shingles. The flu shot doesn't weaken your immune system. It stimulates it.

September 30, 2009 - 6:57am

I'm not sure, but I found a site (from the US Department of Health and Human Services) that is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. It contains a list of vaccines and their "adverse effects":

(there are no adverse effects listed for the flu shot, or influenza vaccine).

Anyone else find a credible source that says otherwise?

October 12, 2008 - 6:36am
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