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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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Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello, Anon.

I am sorry this happened to you. How horrible - to have shingles on the roof of your mouth? I hope it did not spread beyond that. You can report this to the CDC. On their website - click on the area where you can report adverse reactions to vaccinations.

I hope you feel back to normal soon!


December 30, 2018 - 12:50pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the flu shot on Friday, November 10th...On Tuesday, November 14th, I noticed a rash (blister-like) on my knee. I think everyone knows my diagnose, by other postings here, I have shingles. I believe there is something in the 2017 flu vaccine that's causing a breakout of shingles. (53 yo)

November 16, 2017 - 7:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had the high dose flu shot on October 31, and felt kind of funny afterward. By November 9 the top of my head/scalp felt like it was on fire. By November 11, I began getting a rash down side of face and under lower left lip. It's inside my mouth...gums and teeth very sore, and my left ear is a sore mess. I went to Doctor yesterday and got the shingles diagnosis. I Was given an anti-viral and a drug to calm down nerve pain...I've had the shingles vaccine shot about 8 years ago. Hoping that will lessen the severity and length of this outbreak. I see I am not alone with this "coincidence"!

November 14, 2017 - 4:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

I got flu shot 6 days before I got shingles. Went to ER and PA said I don’t have shingles. I have had shingles before and this pain and small pimple like blister appeared on my head, inner ear, behind ear, chin. I have also had bad headache. Thank God I found this information. I was given strong antibiotic which I started taking today at noon. I’ve taken two doses. I hope this info is helpful to others. Is it the 2017 flu vaccine causing shingles?

November 11, 2017 - 9:23pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 54 year old female and got a flu shot 2 weeks ago. I have been slightly ill with cold symptoms starting 2 days after shot. Then 3 nights ago I started with pain in my right flank and lower back which has progressively gotten worse every day. Also tingling skin on abdomen and right thigh. Tonight I have rash and blisters on my right flank around to my hip. Pretty sure I have shingles, but I am going to the Doctor tomorrow to be sure and to get meds.

November 9, 2017 - 6:44pm

hello everyone- received the flu shot exactly 1 week ago {Fluzone Quadrivalent Vaccine}. 3 days later on Sat. I woke up with the most painful neck and headache ever {just on the ride side!} I joked around with my husband and asked him if he hit me in the middle of the night with a hammer :) that's how painful it was. I also noticed the slight swollen of my lymph nodes and ear area again only on the right side.... side effects of the flu shot no doubt. By Wed. today- day 5- my head was in so much pain and I had an on again off again pinchy sensation.... finally went to go see a doc. thought it was a migraine. Well she saw small red rash with little blister type things on my right scalp already starting to crust over- she concluded I had Shingles- I'm a 47 female. I'm currently taking mediation for the pain and some anti inflammatory pills- not visible since it's under the hairline but hurts like hell. you see the flu shot triggered a dormant virus I didn't even know I had- this sucks..........., I think I'd rather have the flu :( Last time I get the flu shot. God I hope no one gets sick because of me- I mean the fluid on my scalp I doubt has come into contact with anyone but still..........,

November 8, 2017 - 11:22am
EmpowHER Guest

I am so thankful I found this site. I had a quadrivalent (stronger) flu shot two weeks ago because I have Grave's Disease and wanted the extra bump in flu dosage. The injection didn't hurt and I felt normal for about two days. Then I noticed my left arm hurt, at the injection area (not the site, the entire area), my elbow, the top of my lower arm and my hand was tingling and the skin very sensitive. I kept telling my friends all the lymph glands in my arm were swollen and painful. Then I noticed my left tonsil lymph gland was swollen and I got a sore throat. I woke up a few days ago with severe itching in the palm of my left hand, after a day it turned to burning and tingling, then the next day blistery leather and hard underneath. I went to the doctor and they think I have shingles ON MY HAND which is a rare place to get them. I've had shingles twice before (I'm 62) but this on my hand is more painful than ever. I'm now not able to touch it at all. I would testify in court this all happened due to the flu shot. If I ever get another one, it will be the lower dose. But I likely won't get another one. I am miserable. I'm going to my regular doctor tomorrow and he'll tell me the same thing you all have been told: the flu shot can't cause shingles. Well, it can in persons with compromised immune systems. Also, I couldn't help but notice but I'm wondering if this is something correlated to the 2017 serum.

November 5, 2017 - 5:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

It’s not anything in the flu shot itself, but the flu shot compromises the immune system which likely creates an opportunity that the dormant shingles virus takes advantage of. Once you get shingles, it can be triggered again by low immunity such as stress or illness. Much like diabetes.

November 3, 2017 - 11:29am
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 65 yr old female. Had the flu shot, few days later, flu like symptoms for two days. Those symptoms lead into pain/burning in my chest/back which spread to shoulder blade and on over to my upper arm. Six day after the first flu symptom I break out with the shingles rash. I have felt horrible for almost three weeks now. I am convinced the flu shot brought this on. I will never have another flu shot.

November 3, 2017 - 9:25am
EmpowHER Guest

seems i had and have all the same symptoms - flu shot - 10 days later shingles - spoke with my dr who is head of infectious disease at pennsylvania hospital - the flu show is not a live vaccine and does not cause shingles -


November 1, 2017 - 8:51am
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