Why Do Vaccines Cause Fevers
Vaccines prepare the immune system to protect against viruses or bacteria that could make people sick. The way this happens is that they introduce components of the germs that are known to activate the immune response. However, vaccines will not cause a significant enough immune response that the person suffers untoward events, such as can occur during natural infections. With this said, in some cases the immune response is strong enough to cause detectable symptoms, like a mild fever.
Knowing that vaccines can cause a fever, sometimes parents wonder if a lack of fever means the vaccine is not working. However, not everyone who responds to a vaccine will develop a fever.
What Are The Side Effects
Shingrix can make the area where you get the shot swell or feel sore. Other effects include:
- Many people who get the vaccine have muscle aches, headaches, or feel tired.
- About 1 in 4 people have a fever or an upset stomach.
Younger people are more likely to have these side effects, and they typically last 2 or 3 days.
Itâs also possible to have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine. If you have problems breathing, feel your face or throat swelling, or feel weak or dizzy after the shot, call 911 and get medical help right away.
When Should You Get Immunised Against Shingles
Anyone aged 60 years and over who wants to protect themselves against shingles can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.
Shingles immunisation is recommended for:
- adults aged 60 years and over who have not previously received zoster vaccine
- adults aged 70 years to 79 years, for free under the National Immunisation Program
- adults aged 50 or over who live in the same household as someone who has a weakened immune system.
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Another Jab At Shingles
In October 2018, the FDA approved Shingrix, a two-shot shingles vaccine for patients 50 and older. To be the most effective, patients must get the second shot between two to six months after the first. Clinical trials demonstrated that it was 91% to 97% effective in preventing shingles, and that protection seems to stay strong, at least for the first four years in the patients who were tracked.
There has slowly been uptick, but still very large group of those aged 50 and older who have not received it, saysNatalie Baker, DNP, president of the gerontological advanced practice nursing association .
Given its improved efficacy and the fact that the efficacy of Zostavaxwanes over the course of a few years, regulators recommended getting the Shingrix shots even if you already received Zostavax, which was discontinued in 2020. A lot of our older adults have received Zostavax, but, unfortunately, it just does not continue to be effective, she says, explaining that even those patients should get the Shingrix vaccine.
A New Shingles Vaccine
- U.S. News & World Report
If youre 50 or older, you’re advised to get immunized to protect yourself from shingles. If the new shingles vaccine made you feel worse than you expected, you’re not alone. Skin rash, joint pain, flu-like symptoms, headaches and fatigue are some complaints from patients who’ve had the recently approved Shingrix vaccine. Side effects can last two or three days, and the injection site in the upper arm can hurt. “Part of the problem is that health care providers may not have fully understood the instructions of administration,” said Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Providers can refer to the website of Shingrix manufacturer GSK for complete administration instructions for this relatively unfamiliar vaccine, Dr. Swartz suggested. “As providers are more comfortable with it, I believe the administration errors would be expected to be reduced,” she said.
– Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
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Who Shouldn’t Get A Shingles Vaccine
The CDC says some people shouldn’t get the shingles vaccine. That includes those who:
- Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix
- Tested negative for VZV immunity
- Currently have shingles
- Have a severe or moderate acute illness, such as a respiratory infection
Your healthcare provider can answer any questions you have about whether the vaccine is safe for you.
When They Start How Long They Last
The shingles vaccine is given in a two-shot series. You may experience side effects after the first, second, or both shots. Most of the time, these symptoms are mild and occur immediately following vaccination. They typically only last for two or three days.
Side effects of the shingles vaccine are more common in younger people, and might interrupt your normal daily activities for a few days.
This may seem like a downside of the shingles vaccine, but remember that these symptoms are a result of the creation of a strong shingles defense within your body.
It is OK to take Tylenol or Advil after a shingles vaccine to relieve symptoms. Rest and plenty of fluids may help, too.
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Vaccines Against Individual Pathogens
Haemophilus influenzae type b
- ActHIB®, 2 days after vaccination in about 2 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Hiberix, 4 days after vaccination in 14-19 of 100 vaccine recipients fevers occur more frequently after the second and third doses
- PedvaxHIB®, 6 to 48 hours after vaccination in 1-18 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Heplisav-B®, 0 to 7 days after vaccination in 1-2 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Engerix B, 1 to 17 days after vaccination in 2 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Recombivax®, in 1-10 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Havrix, 0 to 4 days after vaccination in 3 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Vaqta®, 1 to 5 days after vaccination in 10 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Gardasil 9®, 0 to 5 days after vaccination in 6-7 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Menactra®, 0 to 7 days after vaccination in 5-12 of 100 vaccine recipients fevers occur more frequently in those younger than 2 years of age
- Menveo, 0 to 7 days after vaccination in 3-9 of 100 vaccine recipients fevers occur more frequently after the third and fourth doses
- Menquadfi, 0 to 7 days after vaccination in 1-2 of 100 vaccine recipients
- Trumenba®, 0 to 7 days after vaccination in 2-6 of 100 vaccine recipients fevers occur more frequently after the first dose
- Bexsero, 0 to 7 days after vaccination in 1-4 of 100 vaccine recipients fevers occur more frequently after the second dose
Vaccine Side Effects & Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a vaccine side effect, you should contact a vaccine lawyer with experience in this type of complex litigation.
We have recently partnered with Schmidt & Clark, LLP a Nationally recognized law firm who handles vaccine lawsuits in all 50 states.
The lawyers at the firm offer a Free Confidential Case Evaluation and may be able to obtain financial compensation for you or a loved one by filing a vaccine lawsuit or claim with The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Contact Schmidt & Clark today by using the form below or by calling them directly at .
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What Is Shingrix The New Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late 2017, is more likely to cause short-term side effects than either Zostavax or other vaccines for adults, said Dr. Kathleen Dooling, a medical officer in the division of viral diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the important things is to go into this vaccination knowing that youll probably have some side effects after and be prepared for those, Dooling told TODAY.
The advice weve been giving people is that if you plan to get the vaccine, in the day or two afterwards, dont plan any big, strenuous activities. For example, dont plan a big gardening project… dont plan your big golf game for that period.
Patient Reports Of Side Effects
During the first eight months of Shingrixs post-marketing use, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, received 4,381 total reports of adverse events of these 130 were serious.
For every 100,000 doses distributed, the CDC found 136 complaints filed in the system. Approximately 3.2 million doses were distributed by GlaxoSmithKline during the eight-month period of reporting analyzed by the CDC.
Fever, chills and body aches and pain, swelling and redness in the arm receiving the shot were common side effects.
Yet seven patients died within six hours to six weeks of receiving Shingrix, the CDC said. The cause of four of these deaths was cardiovascular disease . Two were immunosuppressed patients who died of sepsis. And one 86-year-old woman died after a fall. v An eighth death after the use of Shingrix was also reported to VAERS, though this was not confirmed by the CDC.
Dr. Elisabeth M. Hesse, lead author of the report and a medical officer in the CDCs Office of Immunization Safety, wrote in an email that no information in medical documentation indicated the reported deaths were related to vaccination.
She noted that the Rotashield vaccine for infants was withdrawn from the market after reports to VAERS of bowel obstruction and an investigation that verified these claims.
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Can My Grandfather With Shingles Give My Baby Daughter Chickenpox
Yes, although people with shingles cannot pass shingles to someone else, they can pass chickenpox virus to others through direct contact with the rash. If your baby has not yet had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, she could become infected with the virus and develop chickenpox.
Unlike chickenpox that can be passed to others through coughs or sneezes, people with shingles can only pass the virus to others through direct contact with the rash. If the rash has yet to develop or has crusted, the patient cannot transmit the virus. Similarly, people who still have pain without the rash are no longer able to transmit the virus.
What The Research Says
What we do know is that when your immune system is compromised or distracted fighting off another virus, it tends to give the herpes zoster virus a chance to reactivate.
Past research has established that immune-suppressing medications like chemotherapy and corticosteroids as well as health conditions that attack your immune system like Crohns disease, HIV, and lupus increase your risk for a shingles outbreak.
Researchers are currently trying to understand whether COVID-19 may do the same thing.
Preliminary data suggests that this could be the case, but we do not know yet.
A small 2021 study involving 491 vaccinated people in Israel showed that six participants experienced shingles for the first time after getting their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. All six individuals had pre-existing conditions that lowered their natural immune response, and all six fully recovered after developing shingles.
This study prompted researchers to advocate for more studies on COVID-19 vaccines as possible triggers for the shingles virus.
Data gathered in Brazil also showed an increase of 10.7 cases of shingles per million inhabitants during the time of the pandemic.
Its impossible to know exactly how and to what extent the effect of increased stress of the pandemic and other factors played into these numbers increasing during that span of time. Stress has long been suspected to be a possible factor in developing shingles.
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Is There A Connection
Theres currently no evidence to clear up the question of whether having COVID-19 or getting vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes it increases your risk for developing shingles in any statistically significant way.
But it seems clear that neither the virus nor the vaccines can cause a shingles outbreak since shingles is caused by a different virus entirely.
To better understand the relationship between the two, lets look at some details about the herpes zoster virus and SARS-CoV-2, responsible for shingles and COVID-19, respectively, as well as what the research currently suggests about the link between the two conditions.
Possible Side Effects From Vaccines
Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor and go away within a few days. Listed below are vaccines licensed in the United States and side effects that have been associated with each of them. This information is copied directly from CDCs Vaccine Information Statements , which in turn are derived from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations for each vaccine.
Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.
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How Do Inactivated Viral Vaccines Work
Inactivated viralvaccines are sterile biologic products that provide immunity against viral infections. Inactivated viral vaccines work by stimulating the bodys immune system to produce antibodies against specific types of viruses, and protect a person from becoming infected when exposed to these viruses.
In the case of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes respiratory illness and has led to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines do not entirely prevent infection but protect vaccinated individuals from serious illness and hospitalization from the disease.
Inactivated viral vaccines contain particles of proteins or genetic material from viruses. Inactivated viral vaccines may also contain substances that preserve and stabilize the vaccine, and enhance immune response. Some viral vaccines are delivered in inactivated harmless viruses such as human adenovirus.
Inactivated viral vaccines may be made from:
- Surface proteins of the viruses enable the virus to hold on to a human cell, enter inside and replicate.
- Modified RNA particles from the virus can enter host cells and induce the production of viral antigen, which stimulates an immune response from the body.
- Recombined DNA material from multiple strains and subtypes of viruses, killed to eliminate disease-causing capability.
Currently, inactivated viral vaccines approved by the FDA protect against viral infectious diseases that include:
- Coronavirus disease , caused by SARS-Cov-2 virus
Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you should get a shingles vaccine if you:
- Are an adult aged 50 and older
- Have never had shingles
- Have had shingles before
- Aren’t sure whether you’ve had chickenpox
- Have been previously vaccinated with the Zostavax shingles vaccine
- Are age 19 or older and are immunodeficient or immunosuppressed because of disease or therapy
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Shingles Vaccine Side Effects
Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccines can cause side effects, but they’re generally mild and do not last long.
Common side effects that occur in at least 1 in 10 people are:
- redness, pain, swelling, itching and warmth at the injection site
If any side effects carry on for longer than a few days, speak to your GP or practice nurse.
Tell your GP if you develop a rash after having the shingles vaccination.
Can Zostavax Cause Shingles
Yes. Shingles is a side effect of Zostavax that Merck & Co. added to the label at the request of the FDA in . The FDA also strengthened warnings about serious infections and infestations with the virus in the vaccine.
In Australia, safety officials have reported the death of sick patients who were given Zostavax and warned that it should not be given to patients with compromised immune systems due to the risk of death from serious infections with the vaccine virus.
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Shingles Disease And How To Protect Against It
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash that develops on one side of the face or body. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus , the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox in the past can get shingles because VZV remains in the body after a person recovers from chickenpox. VZV can reactivate many years later, causing shingles.
Shingles is more common in older adults, people who have medical conditions that weaken the immune system, and people who take medications that suppress their immune systems. Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent shingles.
How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety
CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.
CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
- The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
- The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.
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Side Effects Of Shingles Vaccine
The most common shingles shot side effects include pain and soreness at the injection site. Some people also notice a bit of redness, swelling or itching at the site of the shot. Other side effects of the shingles vaccine may include fatigue, muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. According to the CDC, side effects are more common in younger people than older people.
Most people can resume their regular activities immediately after vaccination. However, about 1 out of 6 people develop flu-like symptoms that last anywhere from 1 to 3 days.
Side effects can occur after the first, second, or both doses of Shingrix vaccine. If possible, it is a good idea to schedule vaccination the day before some downtime, so you can rest if you develop side effects.
If you develop flu-like symptoms after shingles vaccination, you can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to control your fever and improve comfort. Those who develop flu-like symptoms after their first dose of vaccine may want to pre-medicate with ibuprofen or acetaminophen an hour or so before their second dose. Your healthcare provider can answer your questions about shingles vaccine side effects and pre-medication for vaccination.
Serious side effects are rare, but not impossible, after shingles vaccination. If you develop hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, or sudden dizziness or weakness, and seek medical care immediately.