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Whys cases of shingles after receiving a flu shot containing inactive virus?

By Anonymous September 27, 2014 - 4:52pm
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I have been reading posts where some individuals have contracted the shingles virus subsequent to having received a flu shot. I don't see the connection as isn't the flu vaccine an inactive virus. Thank you.

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Hi Anon and thanks for your questions!

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. According to the Mayo Clinic, anyone who's had chickenpox may develop shingles. The virus can enter your nervous system and lie dormant for years. Eventually, it may reactivate and travel along nerve pathways to your skin — producing shingles.

A flu shot with an inactive virus would not cause shingles, however, each individual's response to drugs and medications is different, as are our immune systems. It is highly doubtful that a person would "catch" shingles from a flu vaccine. It's more likely that the person's immune response to the shot may have triggered the chicken pox virus to reactivate and cause shingles. Shingles is more common in older adults and in people who have weak immune systems. 

Are you debating whether to get the flu shot or shingles vaccine, or both? Let us know if this information has been helpful.



September 28, 2014 - 12:13pm
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