Monday, November 27, 2023

Can The Shingles Vaccine Cause A Rash

Laboratory And Other Diagnostic Findings

Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

The initial viral PCR study was still pending at the time of presentation to the emergency department. Results of a complete blood cell count revealed a normal white blood cell count of 5.4 × 103/L cells and a normal differential . The C-reactive protein level was within normal limits at 0.190 mg/dL . Results of a comprehensive metabolic panel were within normal limits. Blood and urine cultures were obtained. Samples from the new skin lesions were obtained for viral cultures, Tzanck smear, and repeated PCR for HSV and VZV. Dermatology was consulted, and a skin biopsy was performed.

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.

A Rash After The Shingles Vaccine

In May 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine, known as Zostavax, to prevent shingles in adults over 60 2. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the shingles vaccine reduces the risk of developing shingles by half and reduces the risk of the most common complication of shingles, a chronic pain syndrome known as post-herpetic neuralgia, by more than two-thirds 1. In the May 4, 2010 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine, New York University infectious disease specialist Michael S. Simberkoff, M.D., and other members of the Shingles Prevention Study Group report that rash is the most common side effect of the shingles vaccine 3.

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

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Explaining Occurrences Of Shingles And Hives During Vaccine Rollout

Roy Inman was ready for life to return to normal.

Hed received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in early April and was one step closer to being able to work and socialize again. Then Inman, a Kansas City-based photographer, spotted something strange.

The very next day, these strange bumps lesions, actually began to appear on my forehead and around my eye, he said. Urgent care doc says, shingles.

Years ago, he had planned on getting the shingles vaccine, called Shingrix, but he made a mistake on a form, which signaled to pharmacists that he was allergic.

I filled out the form at Walgreens clinic and the nurse said I marked that I was allergic to MSG, so I could not get the , Inman wrote on Facebook Messenger.

Fast forward to April 2021 and Inman was ready to get Shingrix. However, hed need to wait 14 days since he had just gotten his first dose of the COVID vaccine, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

He was prescribed antiviral medication and is feeling much better these days. But now its a matter of selling a lens or some photographs to pay for his shot of Shingrix, which has an efficacy rate between 89% and 97%.

Inmans experience is one of many that echo reports often coincidental of shingles and hives as possible side effects of the COVID vaccine.

My mother, she is 93, and I took the COVID vaccine and we both broke out with shingles, Maryellen Ruiz wrote through Kansas City PBS curiousKC.

How Well Does Shingrix Work


Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication of shingles.

  • In adults 50 to 69 years old with healthy immune systems, Shingrix was 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective.
  • In adults 50 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 89% effective.
  • In adults with weakened immune systems, Shingrix was between 68% and 91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on their underlying immunocompromising condition.

In people 70 years and older who had healthy immune systems, Shingrix immunity remained high throughout 7 years following vaccination.

Also Check: What To Do When You Get Shingles

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.

Can You Get Shingles After Being Vaccinated

  • Can You Get Shingles After Being Vaccinated? Center
  • Shingles is a viral infection. It presents with a rash followed by an episode of intense pain in the infected area. This is caused by the virus called varicella zoster. This virus also causes chickenpox. If a child has had chickenpox, the virus may not completely go away, lie dormant in the body and come back years later as shingles. Older individuals and immunocompromised individuals are more likely to develop shingles. The shingles vaccine is generally recommended for those older than 50 years of age and immunocompromised individuals .

    The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved two vaccines to effectively prevent shingles: Zostavax and Shingrix. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia . Two doses of Shingrix are more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. The vaccine is more than 85 percent effective for at least the first four years after vaccination. It is possible to get shingles after being vaccinated since no vaccine is 100 percent effective. However, the vaccine can considerably reduce the risk and intensity of shingles episodes.

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    Can You Get Shingles After Youve Been Vaccinated

    While the shingles vaccine is highly effective, some people can still get shingles. However, people who do get shingles after getting the shingles vaccine usually have milder symptoms and a shorter illness. Youll also be less likely to have complications from shingles, including postherpetic neuralgia.

    Is There A Vaccine Against Shingles

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Don’t suffer with shingles

    Shingix is currently the only shingles vaccine available in the United States. Its given to people over age 50.

    Previously, an additional vaccine, Zostavax, was used, but it was phased out in the United States as of November 2020.

    According to the CDC, two doses of Shingrix are over 90 percent effective at preventing shingles. Youll retain at least 85 percent protection for 4 years after being vaccinated.

    If you get shingles after being vaccinated, your symptoms will likely be less severe. Youll also have a lower chance of developing postherpetic neuralgia a complication where pain remains even after a shingles rash goes away.

    Shingles usually follows a pattern of development. It typically progresses with the following symptoms:

    • First, you may notice a tingling or burning sensation in your skin.
    • One to 5 days later a rash appears as small red spots.
    • Fluid-filled blisters develop a few days later.
    • After 7 to 10 days, the lesions crust over.
    • The rash disappears over the next 2 to 4 weeks.

    In some cases, pain may persist for several months or even years after the rash has disappeared. This complication, known as postherpetic neuralgia , can be severe enough to affect your quality of life.

    Certain antiseizure medications can help manage the pain. Gabapentin and pregabalin are two that are commonly used.

    Also Check: Is It Ok To Take Ibuprofen After Shingles Vaccine

    What Else To Know About The Shingles Vaccine

    Ready to get vaccinated? This is the essential info on how the shots are given, what to expect with side effects, and more.

    You need two doses of Shingrix to get full protection from shingles. You should get your second dose 2 to 6 months after the first. Your doctor or pharmacist will inject the vaccine into the muscle of your upper arm, so wear clothes that give easy access to that area.

    If it has been more than 6 months since you got your first dose, go ahead and get your second dose. You donât need to start over, Dooling says.

    Because Shingrix is so new, experts arenât sure whether youâll eventually need another shot, or a booster, years down the road.

    âThe CDC is actively following how protected people remain after the two-dose series,â she says. We know that after 4 years, protection remains above 85%. Only time will tell how durable that protection is.â

    You do not have to wait between Shingrix and COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC has determined its safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as Shingrex, but recommends they be given in different arms. You should not get eithe vaccine if you have COVID.

    Side effects are fairly common. You may have heard that people sometimes have unpleasant side effects soon after they get the shingles vaccine.

    âShingrix tends to have has more side effects than some vaccines, like those for the seasonal flu,â says Kistler. The shingles vaccine may cause:

    What If There Is A Serious Problem

    An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction , call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.

    For other signs that concern you, call your health care provider.

    Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your health care provider will usually file this report, or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff members do not give medical advice.

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    More Information On Side Effects

    Reactions listed under possible side effects or adverse events on vaccine product information sheets may not all be directly linked to the vaccine. See Vaccine side effects and adverse reactions for more information on why this is the case.

    If you are concerned about any reactions that occur after vaccination, consult your doctor. In the UK you can report suspected vaccine side effects to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency through the Yellow Card Scheme . See more information on the Yellow Card scheme and monitoring of vaccine safety.

    What Are The Side Effects

    Staving off shingles

    The shingles vaccines are very safe.

    Common side effects to the vaccines include headache as well as soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Itching and a rash may also occur after getting Zostavax® II. Other reactions that may occur after getting Shingrix® include fever, muscle soreness, fatigue, shivering, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

    It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is an extremely rare possibility of anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue, or lips. The chance of true anaphylaxis is about 1 in 1 million vaccine doses. Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number. Learn more about anaphylaxis on our vaccine side effects page.

    It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.

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    How Effective Is Shingrix

    The risk of getting shingles increases as you get older, so its important to get vaccinated. Shingrix also provides strong protection against PHN, the most common complication from shingles.

    • Among adults age 50 to 69 years who got two doses, Shingrix was 97 percent effective in preventing shingles. In this age group, it was also 91 percent effective in preventing PHN.
    • Among adults age 70 years and older who got two doses, Shingrix was 91 percent effective in preventing shingles. In this age group, it was also 89 percent effective in preventing PHN.
    • Among adults age 70 years and older who got two doses, Shingrix is more than 85 percent effective in preventing shingles for four years following vaccination.

    Talk With Your Health Care Provider

    Tell your vaccination provider if the person getting the vaccine:

    • Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of recombinant shingles vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies
    • Is currently experiencing an episode of shingles

    In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone shingles vaccination until a future visit.

    People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting recombinant shingles vaccine.

    Your health care provider can give you more information.

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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.

    Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine

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    Some people shouldnt get the shingles vaccine. These people include those:

    • Who currently have shingles.
    • Who have had a severe allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine in the past.
    • Who have tested negative for immunity to the varicella-zoster virus, meaning youve never had chickenpox. If youve never had chickenpox, you should get the chickenpox vaccine.
    • Who are ill. You should wait until your illness has passed before receiving the shingles vaccine.
    • Who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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    Is Shingrix Safe For Everyone

    Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or healthcare provider if Shingrix is right for you. You should not get the Shingrix vaccine if you:

    • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine
    • Had a severe allergic reaction to your first dose of Shingrix
    • Currently have shingles
    • Have a fever of 101.3°F or higher
    • Have a weakened immune system due to a condition or medication
    • Have had a stem cell transplant
    • Are pregnant or breastfeeding

    What Does The Shingles Virus Do

    Shingles is a viral infection that is caused by varicella-zoster virus , which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who previously had chickenpox, still has the virusit just lies dormant in the body and can develop into the shingles later in life. This is why anyone previously infected with chickenpox can become infected with shingles.

    The shingles virus causes a rash to break out, which can often cause itching, burning, and pain. It can last anywhere between two to four weeks and the majority of people infected with the virus do make a full recovery.


    The first symptoms to show are: fever, weakness, burning, and tingling. A few days after the initial symptoms, the first signs of the rash will appear. Red or pink blotchy patches will start to appear on your body and can cause shooting pain in some cases, possibly even spreading to the eye. During this stage, shingles is not contagious.

    After the initial few days, the rash develops into blisters, which are like chickenpox. They develop over the course of a few days, although they dont spread over your entire body. Blisters commonly occur on the torso and face.

    Once blisters develop, shingles can become contagious. No one can catch shingles from someone infected with it, but if you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, you can contract chickenpox from someone who has shingles.

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    Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine: Is It Safe

    Shingles is a painful rash caused by varicella zoster, the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

    If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus hasnt completely gone away. It hides dormant in your body and can reemerge many years later as shingles.

    About 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. This is why vaccination is important. But you should also be prepared for possible side effects. In this article, well discuss the side effects, and talk about who should get the vaccine.

    Older adults are most likely to develop shingles. This is why the shingles vaccine is recommended for people ages 50 and older.

    Shingrix is the only shingles vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

    The Shingrix vaccine is a recombinant vaccine. This means vaccine manufacturers created it by altering and purifying DNA that creates an immune response to fight the virus.

    The CDC recommends Shingrix for the prevention of shingles and related complications. The Shingrix vaccine is also recommended for anyone who has already gotten another type of shingles vaccine.

    Currently, the CDC recommends healthy people ages 50 and older get the Shingrix vaccine. Doctors administer the vaccine in two doses, which are given 2 to 6 months apart.

    The Shingrix vaccine has high success rates in protecting people against shingles.

    The Shingrix vaccine is as much as effective in preventing shingles. The same is true for Shingrix and postherpetic neuralgia.

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