Monday, October 20, 2014

Friday, October 15, 2010 kmatthews, Community Member, asks

Q: Can The Flu Shot Cause Shingles?

I am a health 52 year old female kindergarten teacher who had the flu shot on October 6th.  I felt soreness in arm and lower back for two days.  Soon after I developed back pain on one side for a week or so the broke out with a two areas that looked like bites.  I was diagnosed with shingles.  Could this possible be related to the flu shot?

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Answers (31)
Bev, Community Member
11/16/10 5:22pm

My father is currently in the hospital suffering from ‘mind confusion’ stemming from the treatment of Shingles (herpes zoster). I have been searching online, high and low, for (first) a link to what caused his shingles to occur and (second) any other cases in which shingles patients have suffered from phobia or dementia as a result of-what we think- was the medicine administered to treat the illness.


Now, without a doubt, I am convinced it was the flu shot which he got less than 7 days before his first rash outbreak under his arm and chest that caused the shingles to occur (prior to this, he was a healthy 56 year old active school administrator) A cat scan came back negative and they are currently holding him at a psyche ward to help with his delusions/phobia (he believes people are out to harm him).


Has this happened to anyone else whose loved one had/has shingles? I am afraid they are not treating the illness as a neurological issue vs. a psychological one.


If you can help, I’d greatly appreciate it!



DAVE S, Community Member
11/29/10 1:28am


dw1900, Community Member
10/15/10 3:36pm

Same thing has happened to me. I am a 39 year old male who got the flu shot on October 12th, and next day, I noticed something on right sie of face under my eye.  It has continued to swell, and looks like shingles breakout.  I am going to a doctor / urgent care today.


tawhite, Community Member
10/23/10 11:17pm

I'm sorry to celebrate your misery, but it makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one to have this happen. So far, all official medical personnel keep claiming that the two events are not related. However, I got a flu shot 11 a.m. Wednesday, and by 6 p.m. that night, I had a fever and flu-like symptoms. The next morning, I awoke with a blister above the left corner of my mouth. I've never had a cold sore, but thought that's what it was, so I used Abreva on it. No luck.


Friday morning I awoke with a majorly swollen lymph node under my chin. And today, Saturday, the blister, plus most of the left side of my face was numb. I visited a prompt-care clinic where I was diagnosed with shingles.


Seems to me there HAS to be some connection. I've never had shingles before, and I've not been exposed to anyone who has it currently.

Joan V., Community Member
11/17/10 10:27am

This all sounds eerily familiar.  I rarely get flu shots but did get one last week and developed shingles a few days later, much to my surprise.  The doctor knew what it was right away.  I'm a healthy 42 year old.  Symptoms aren't that bad (yet) but it's upsetting.  

tormented, Community Member
6/23/14 8:16am

I was a healthy 60 yr. old female .Had the flu shot Oct. 26 th  and the next day  the pain started in my left eye. that is  3  years ago ,and still am suffering  each day with  neuralgia  and constant itch syndrome.Am waiting to see a specialist  soon  and  am hopeful he  can do  a nerve block for this misery .....good luck to you.


jill, Community Member
10/26/10 2:52pm

OK-three weeks ago I got a flu shot-then three days later a head cold to a quick chest cold gone in  a week, but my ear kept  hurting -like a deep sinus pain or a "nerve" pain , sharp and shooting and painful. Then I took a fall-bruised ribs,skinned knee, and just went to bed for three days-day four the left side of my neck and a bit of my face is literally covered in blisters. Waited the weekend then to the Doctor and it is a nasty case of the shingles running down from the nerve in my head. I am a high-stress person,this is my fist case of shingles, and I am around the right age for presentation but I do wonder if in some way the shot is connected. I know it could be and most likely is coincedental and I know flu vaccine is vital for thousands but.....

ohgirl, Community Member
11/ 3/10 11:45am

There must be a connection and I think it should be researched by the cdc since it is possible to lose your eye sight due to shingles.    This same thing has happened to me. I got my flu shot Oct 25, 2010.  Within 2 days I had blisters on my abdomen (left side).  Went to the doctor the following Monday morning and confirmed the diagnois as shingles.   I have never had them before and have learned quite a bit about them in the last 2 days.   I wonder if it has something to do with the 2010 flu shot being different than before - this year it's Triple Protection immunizing against H1N1, H3N2, and Influenza B virus.    So far my symptoms have not been so severe as some I have read about, but it may not be over yet.

kngfisher, Community Member
11/28/10 1:44pm

"2010 flu shot being different than before - this year it's Triple Protection immunizing against H1N1, H3N2, and Influenza B virus"


Nice that folks are not being told of this. Wonder if it's because so many folks last year opted out of the H1N1 vaccinations.....I too have shingles as a result of this year's flu shot nice. Thank you CDC. Also now being diagnosed with possible Myasthenia gravis Thanks again. Was a health 39 male. 

dlb, Community Member
11/ 4/10 8:08am

I'm a very healthy 55 year old female and on Saturday, October 23th 2010 at 2PM I had my first flu shot ever.  Sunday, October 24th before noon I had sensitive skin on my right side, hip area. By Monday I had some sharp shooting pain internally in the same area. I went to my doctor on Tuesday, by then the pain had increased and was more consistent. He could not make a confirmed diagnosis, but said if it was shingles, I would break out with a rash on Thursday or Friday. On Saturday a small rash appeared (the beginning of what was to come).  I went to my acupuncturist for the pain and she told me it was shingles. I followed up with my MD and he confirmed shingles.  Even before I read any other postings, I connected the onset of shingles with the flu shot. My acupuncturist told me my immune system was weaken by the flu shot and caused shingles to develop.  Anyone that has gotten shingles after a flu shot should report this to the CDC. This is ridiculous anyone should suffer with something that could have been prevented. I've already missed 5 days of work due to this, not to mention the pain.  

dlb, Community Member
11/ 4/10 8:50am

Sorry but to correct my initial postings the following should have been written. "My acupuncturist told me my immune system might have been weaken by the flu shot and caused shingles to develop." I would edit the original, but don't know how on this website.

ohgirl, Community Member
11/ 4/10 12:02pm

I agree with above post that anyone who gets a diagnosis of shingles right after the flu vaccine should contact the cdc.   Here's what happened when I did that.

They will just read you what you can find on their site about side effects.  What they told me next is what is really important.  You can report adverse reactions to vaccine to the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System).  Their website -  They are a national vaccine safety surveillance program co-sponsored by the CDC and the FDA.  This is exactly what I did - I went to their website and downloaded the reporting form (  It is so easy - it's only one page which you can do on-line, mail (postage free), or fax.    Let's all do that and let others know about this.

Jenny, Community Member
11/19/12 9:03pm
Just found out I had shingles . I am a very healthy 41 yr old female. Had the flu shot for the first time a few weeks ago. Mandatory at work and told unless I could get a very legitimate reason too bad. Should have tried harder now that I honk about it. I have autoimmune problems like Addison's disease so I was already on steroids. When I saw my doctor today he thinks that may have helped. Past weekend, my back hurt and I was blaming mattresses. Then Tuesday nite, I blamed back pain bc of a treadmill and bad shoes. We'dnesday morning, I thought I was having hip and groin pain bc I didn't stretch at an exercise class Tuesday pm. Thursday I was in pain and friday too. Because it was left lower flank I thought I had a kidney stone. Felt painful like that. I thought it may be shingles but I didn't think rash looked so bad. Friday nite my left hip and buttocks hurt and I called my md on sat. He thought it may be sciatica and he did order norco and prednisone. Last nite the pain was unbearable and had to take a norco. Today I saw him and immediate diagnosis. So mad! I originally refused vaccine when I took care of a 28 yr old female patient on a physical rehab floor. She got guillem barre' from the flu shot. Have thangsgiving dinner, a 7 year old and hubby and am a nurse. This stinks! Will send info tomorrow! Reply
Ben Thompson, Community Member
11/ 4/10 3:45pm

I'm just recovering from shingles, and a friend who's a health worker asked if I'd gotten a flu shot. I had, about 4-5 days before symptoms appeared. After seeing this thread, clearly there is a connection. I'm 39 years old.

esther, Community Member
11/ 8/10 6:25am

the same thing just happened to my mother. it was her first ever flu shot (2010) and she gets the worst case of shingles. never had them before, she is perfectly healthy. there has to be a link. it makes me so mad!

Teresa, Community Member
11/11/10 12:13pm

I am a healthy 36 year old female.  I get a flu shot every year.  I got the shot on Thursday, had a severe sore throat by Sunday, now I have blisters on the roof of my mouth.  My 3 year old got blisters in his mouth after getting the flu shot, it's been a week now and they haven't gone away.

char, Community Member
11/14/10 2:21pm

Yes, within one week of getting the flu shot, I developed shingles, despite the fact that I had received the shingles vaccine 3 years ago. I am healthy and not having any problems until I got the flu shot and am not dealing with the pain and consequent effects of shingles. My intuition told me not to get the flu shot, but I did, and now regret it. Char

PharmaSkeptic, Community Member
12/ 3/10 7:04am

My husband and I both got a flu shot a couple of wks ago & he, who is a heart transplant patient, told me yesterday that he thinks he has shingles, which he had several yrs ago two months post-transplant. He says it feels the exact same way. Didn't think to mention it to his transplant NP yesterday but we see an eye specialist here today & if it is shingles & the eye is involved, we have to drive 5 hrs. immediately so that he can be hospitalized at his transplant hospital. I wasn;t going to get the shot this year but did so at my doctor's urging. Neither of us had a problem with the previous shot. When I spoke to the nurse at our local medical clinic yesterday, he said taht shingles is rampant in the area. We live in a sparsely populated area. They started vaccinating people early here this year, in Sept. I downloaded the reporting form but not planning to do any reporting just yet because I don't trust the pharma cos. & this may be a way for them to limit liability. Just a thought!

shinglepatient, Community Member
10/ 7/11 2:23pm

I dont know about that, but I had shingles on the face early this year and still have post herpatic neuralgia, stinging in my face, and I am not taking the flu shot for sure.



tamar varon, Community Member
10/ 8/11 6:37pm

I also am joining you all with the exact same experience, that also was in 2010.  The night I had the flu shot (which I take every year with no problems) I developed severe chills and a light fever, dizziness, and nausea.  The next day a reddish bump appeared on my forehead , which spread to areas on my face.  I went to the doctor, who diagnosed me with shingles. I asked if the flu shot had any connection, and was told no, it's just coincidental.  After hearing all of your similar stories, I see that is not so.  The question now is if we should continue taking flu shots, or not?  Maybe it was just that year's strain, or are we now more vulnerable to future shots because of our reactions?

yony, Community Member
1/30/12 9:34pm

Best of luck to all of you. But doctors will never admit that it is a resultfrom the flu shot. I have a daughter 21 no at age 15 she got the flu shot imediately told me she wasent feeling good she had shills. we went home three days later a cold six days later she begun with fatig and upperbody ache which got worst. She had done any test that you can think with negative results. Psyiachaitrist was our end because they said is all on her head finally after going from a circle one doctor admited I don't think is in her head, but there is not much wew can do, and they never reported this case sad when it could prevent others from the same misery, we are still dealing with pain, fatigue and because of her body been so stress she is braiking out a lot in her back and face and she tells me that they hert know reading your case I wonder if she dosen't have shingles with a chronic case. 

CCregger, Community Member
10/21/11 11:12am

I too got the shingles after getting my flu shot.

K, Community Member
10/27/11 12:19am
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I received the flu shot on October 14, 2011 from the local Walgreens.
On October 18 (4 days later), I had the shingles from the injection site down my left arm into my hand. I'm 54 yrs old and very healthy and active. I've had pain from the back of my neck on the left side down to my hand on that side.  This also includes muscle twitches.  I'm taking 3 medicines to rid myself of the shingles right now: Presdnisone, Valacyclvir (blue pills) and Hydrocodone for pain. I'm still itching to this day (October 27) and doubt I'll ever take another flu shot ever again. My doctor said they aren't related but that is not what I'm finding at all online.

SAM, Community Member
11/ 1/11 5:31pm

Last February I received my first flu shot at age 74. My doctor said I didn't neet it since I had not had a cold or the flu for over 20 years but others (family, press, etc. said I should so I did). Two days later I developed a case of the shingles (doctor verified). The chicken pox virus that causes the shingles went to my brain causing a seizure, viral encephalitis, six days in the hospital and a near death situation. Luckily and with good care I have made a complete recovery. I have no doubt that the flu shot caused my shingles. Needless to say I will never get a flu shot again.

medicinessuck, Community Member
12/ 1/11 4:46pm

No postings for 2011 - has this happened to anyone else this year?  I never get the flu shot because I got the flu anyway (the one time I did).  Got one this year and it's just like the post above.  It took longer than the other posts though but really bad back pain (couldn't sleep - very rare for me), then two days later blisters that have lasted a week (where my back was hurting), feel like crap, and skin is very sore and sensitive still.  Unbelievable!

Raymond, Community Member
12/ 7/11 11:34pm

I got thr flue vacine, first of nov. 2011 with in five days my right arm started having pain, three days later I broke out with a blisters and my Doctor said it was shingles, the blisters has tried up but I am still having pain as of the Dec. 7, my wife had the flue shot at the same time and she had no problem, the flue, is the only thing I can connect to the shingles, I am 62. Thanks    

Mysti, Community Member
3/ 6/12 12:55am

My husband and I, healthy at ages  68 amd 76, had double flu shots at the end of October.  He had a bad reaction, his face got very red and he was feverish and ill for a few days.

On Nov. 10 I felt a pain at the juncture of my right leg and stomach, and went to my Dr.  He said it was shingles. By then I had blisters. I asked if the flu shot caused it and he didn't answer me. I didn't know one thing about shingles. In no time I was taking Tylenol #3 (with codeine) and Tramadol for the pain, I don't use narcotic drugs and they had a very big impact on me.. I barely remember the next three weeks as i was pretty much unconscious. I was in terrible pain when I was awake and my husband cared for me day and night. I took the Valaclovir and other meds given me.  I am diabetic and had to somehow get out of bed each day and have something to eat, take those meds, and walk as much as I could in our apartment. 

It is March 5 now, and I still have the red tracks of the blisters and scabs and still have pain in my lower right abdomen where shingles started. the tracks run around my back to the exact center and hurt if touched. I have Lidocaine gel for that pain.

I have had the flu shot every year and probably never will again.  I definitely link the flu shot of 2011 to the Shingles that started soon after.  At 76 and healthy, I am shocked at this happening.  I have lost 20# and am still hurting.

Doctors should be tracking these 'outbreaks' of shingles and associating it with the flu shot (or not), keeping records.

Shingles is dreadful and I would rather have the flu. 


Lewiskitty, Community Member
4/26/12 7:40pm
I got a flu shot in October 2011 which I usually do not. I am a very active sporty 53 year old. Two weeks later I came down with shingles in the eye and forehead and could not bear light or see for 6 weeks. Over 6 months later I still have post herpetic neuralgia which means burning and itching. I'm on neuron tin for it and it still holds me back. if I exercise and sweat I have horrible itching episodes. My doctor said the flu shot could not have caused the shingles but don't we have intuition about our own bodies? I will not be getting another flu shot. Ten days of fever with the flu believe me s nothing compared to shingles in the eye and face. Reply
tormented, Community Member
6/23/14 8:34am

Oh ,how i can relate . sounds exactly what  happened to me almost 3 yrs. ago. Am suffering ever since ...... they continue to  prescribe pills and ointments to no avail. Have  tried botox, acupucture, nothing  takes  the itch and pain away. Am hoping  for  some type of nerve block and pray each day it will  work. best of luck.    .

Tera the RD, Community Member
10/16/12 11:43am

I am a 44 year old healthy female that received the flu shot 5 days ago...a couple days after the flu shot i noticed what i thought were insect bites on my back that itched terribly..they then spread to my left side in a patch of what looked like lower back and side started to hurt bad yesterday.  I woke this morning to find more patches on my stomach.  I immediately called my doctor who told me to come in that day, to find out I have shingles.  I have never experienced this with the flu shot before, and as a healthcare worker I get the flu shot every year.  Seems like more than a coincidence to me.


ICFlu-Shingles, Community Member
10/17/12 12:05am
I am a 41 year old healthy women and had a flu shot on 10-9-12. By 10-14-12, I developed blisters under my tongue and very itchy bumps all over my body that look like flee bug bites. I went to the doctor and told her that I had a flu shot and I though I had a virus. She told me it was shingles. I can not belive it! Now I do not know if I should take an antiviral drug. I was not told this was a possible side effect. I do not think I will get flu shot again. Reply
Flu vaccine shy, Community Member
11/ 3/12 10:26am

I work in a hospital and it is highly suggested that employees get flu shots. I had gotten a flu shot each year for several years. A few years ago, almost a week after getting the flu vaccine, a rash by my right eye accompanied by pain/itching occurred. I "toughed it out" for a couple of days but symptoms continued to worsen. After researching online, I went to my doctor's and confirmed my fear-I was diagnosed with shingles. I had never had shingles before (I was in my mid forties) and was told that if I had been diagnosed earlier on and put on medication, it would not have gotten to such a degree. I will never have another flu shot.

new york RN, Community Member
11/13/12 8:37pm

I am a registered nurse, who has taken the flu shot for years without more than a local reaction. After taking the shot in October, I was having itchy bug bite type lesions on my arm, same side as the flu shot. In another week, I had a diagnosis of shingles. I am healthy 49 year old, and have lost 2 weeks of work. Do not feel this is a coincidence and will report to CDC for sure.

Ouch!ThisHurts!, Community Member
11/17/12 2:11am
I had the flu shot approximately 2 1/2 weeks ago. I WAS a healthy 56 year old , now I'm a mess!! I had my annual physical done the day I received my shot, all labs and test came back normal. I was working out 3 times weekly with a personal trainer. I have missed 6 sessions since receiving the flu shot. The first reaction was that I developed a slight fever, my arm (shot location) swelled and knotted up like a goose egg with redness and hot to the touch. That took about a week to go away although there is still a slight knotty area on my arm. Next I developed a sore throat. Primarily my left tonsil. I tested negative for strep and was placed on Augmentin XR 1000mg because I am also having a UTI with burning and itching. I have developed blisters in the hair folicles and soft tissues of my labia. The worst part is that I am now being tested for HSV-1 and HSV-2 because of this unexplainable outbreak. Both are herpes types and are related to Zoster and chicken pox. I've not yet received the results, but have never in my entire life had a fever blister or cold sore... And now THIS??? The Augmentin is not working on any of my symptoms so today my doctor prescribed Valtrex because she thinks all of my symptoms are viral, particularly since my blood counts show my white cells are normal. I'm seriously becoming depressed about the possibility of having to deal with herpes at this stage of my life. Telling my long term but rarely seen man-friend (he lives 7 hours away) this news was not an easy task. I hope that we finally get a confirmation of the connection between the flu shot and herpes viruses. It's literally going to Have a lifetime effect on some of us! Reply
Sam Duey, Community Member
12/ 4/12 12:53pm

I get a flu shot every year with no problems.  I got a flu shot this year on October 14, 2012 and a few days later started getting some pain in my left leg.  I was eventually diagnosed as having shingles.  Personalli I think there is a connection between this years flu vaccine and shingles.

martagena, Community Member
12/ 4/12 2:09pm

I am a usually healthy 68 year old.  Within 24 hours of being given the latest flu shot I developed incredible soreness on my buttocks which withinn 24 hours had developed into full blown shingles.  I went to my local minor emergency unit at Queen Mary's hospital in Sidcup.  They claimed never to have seen shingles on the buttock - reaching down almost to the anus but concentrated on the left hand side.  The pain transmitted down my left leg.  They diagnosed shingles and gave me some medication - enough to last for 7 days when they said the rash should clear.  Unfortunately we went to Spain directly after.  I had no choice.  The rash did not clear in 7 days - I still have the traces (and pain) after 3 weeks!.  The pain was awful!  I still have discomfort.  I am convinced it was the flu vaccine that triggered the shingles and am wondering whether this is somehow connected to the vaccine being adjusted to cope with bird flu??? Links with bird flu and chicken pox?  No-one will give us answers,  The medical profession closes ranks in these circumstances.  I know I am never going to get answers but I also know I will never have a flu vaccine again and will caution anyone I know to avoid the same.  Why do we not get more publicity about this!  We are not an isolated few I am sure

west, Community Member
12/ 6/12 9:27am

I am a healthy 57 year old woman.  Got my first flu vaccine this year and 3 weeks later got shingles.  After reading about so many people who had the same thing happen, I am convinced that, somehow, the flu vaccine causes shingles.  Shingles nerve pain has been worse than my kidney stones and 6 natural births!!  What can we do about this?!  

Catherine, Community Member
12/14/12 12:09am
I to got the flu shot and after 2weeks my arm was very sore. The muscles just ached and I could bearly lift my arm. I finally traced it back to the flu shot. Needles to say I have a tingling down the rt side of my face ,chills and sore muscles all over now. Since I have had shingles twice before I knew the pain all to well. Today the dr confirmed shingles but I have not broken out yet. Meds were given and I hope the shingles don't cause the pain they did last time. All flu shots coincited with me contracting shingles. No more flu shots for me. Reply
Doris, Community Member
12/18/12 10:46pm

Yes, apparently, the flu shot can trigger a shingles outbreak.  I had a mild case of shingles on and off many years ago, with no recurrence in more than 20 years.  


I recently got a flu shot, and within a week, the arm where the shot was administered was painful.  A few days later, I noticed a return of the shingles blisters close to the injection site.


I will be making my doctor's appointment tomorrow, to see what they can do, and I will also be foregoing any flu shots in the future. ..Will take vitamin C instead!

LanLan, Community Member
1/17/13 1:50pm

Last Sept I got the my lift time first flu shot.  I got shingles three weeks ago.  I'm healthy person in early 40's and my first instinct was thinking of the flu shot that possibliy related to this.  I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.  Even though, not like many above who got shingles right after the flu shot, I still think the flu shot had something to do with immune system. 

Paula, Community Member
1/23/13 12:15am

I also never received a flu shot and my first one was in December of 2010.  2 weeks later, my left arm starting feeling hot and rashy.  A few days after that I started having pain in my neck.  My neck became very rashy, burned like fire balls in my arm and neck.  I would just cry in the shower from the pain and sleep when I could with ice packs on my arm.  2 weeks after that the rash was on my right arm and then my lower stomach and then my lower back.  This went on for months.  After going to the doctor as well, I was diagnosed with shingles.  I have seen many doctors and have questioned if maybe I had a reaction to the flu shot. Only (1) holistic doctor said "Very possible" and that my immune system was totally compromised. Now as I have read these posts, I am sure it was the flu shot that gave me shingles and I still suffer 2 1/2 years later with re-occuring itching and nerve pain in my neck especially when I get hot or sweat.  I do not think it is ever going to be better again.  Never ever will I get another flu shot again. 


brooklyngirl1234, Community Member
10/31/13 1:01pm

I am a healthy 44 year old woman who had chicken pox as a child. I got a flu shot October 2013. Within a few days I got shingles (though not on the same side of my body as I had the shot). I asked my Dr. about a possible connection between the flu shot and coming down with shingles and here's what he said (he's an infectious disesase specialist):

There could be a connection. But we have to be careful to note that the flu shot doesn't "give" you shingles in the simple sense: it doesn't contain the virus that causes chicken pox and shingles, and that virus is what gives you shingles. But, if a person who has had chicken pox (and so has the CP/shingles virus dormant in their nerve roots) gets a flu vaccine, their immune response to the shot could possibly be the trigger that causes that virus to come out of dormancy, start reproducing, and that's shingles.


So that leaves me thinking that yes, my shingles was triggered by my flu shot. I would caution anyone that with an illness that follows right a flu shot, or any shot, it is not necessarily a causal relationship. 


Taking the antiviral drugs that are available will help control the shingles and stop it from being contagious to others. Feel better, everyone!

sugarmama, Community Member
11/25/13 3:04pm

I am also a healthy 42 year old woman who had chicken pox as a child. I got a flu shot October 29, 2013 within two weeks I came done with a cold that lasted about a week. The next week I started to have pain on my right side which is (not on the same side of the body as I had the shot. I am a nurse in a ED so I let of the doctor's take a look to confirm my suspicion that I had shingles and much to my surprise I was right. Hopefully, I am lucky the rash is not that large and not that painful only itches alot. I was prescribed antiviral drugs so hope my bout ends soon. Frown

Tdar, Community Member
11/19/13 5:57pm

I am a 52 yo male in perfect health living in France.  I had the flu shot 7 days ago (following the strong suggestion of my doctor) and began suffering severe pain in the chest and arm after 3 days.  The 6th day (yesterday) nasty skin irritations appeared under my arm and on my chest.  I went to the hospital today and was diagnosed with shingles, it is still spreading.  I'm suffering terribly and am very angry that I let myself get talked into the shot, especially because I rarely if ever get the flu.  It is so severe that I'm very worried about how it will ever heal and if this will be a chronic problem.  Apparently the worst is yet to come and I'm handling it quite poorly.  I know the shot triggered it and I believe everyone should be duly warned of this life changing side effect. 

Robbie, Community Member
2/ 3/14 9:32pm

i too had the flu shot two weeks ago at a local supermarket.... and 10 days later started getting blisters on my scalp and down the right side of my face, under my eyebrow, and my eyelid.... went to the dr. today, and was diagnosed with shingles.... was put on methylpred unit dose pack and valacyclovir 1gm 3 x daily......  i've never had a flu shot before, but was talked into it this year.... never again!! 

MLW, Community Member
7/ 3/14 5:14am

I got my first-ever flu shot in October 2004 at the age of 42.  I came down with shingles within a few days, on the ride side of my head.  


I had blisters on my forehead, all over the right side of the roof of my mouth, and huge blisters around my eye, along my cheekbone, nose, and mouth -- basically all along the three branches of the trigeminal nerve.  Fortunately my eye was not damaged.


Shingles is painful and it sucks, but it's nothing compared to the post-herpetic neuralgia.  It has been nearly 10 years now, and I suffer with it every day.  I tried neurontin, morphine, and methadone in a series of unsuccessful attempts to manage the pain.


I am now on Effexor XR, which helps ease the constant nagging itch and burning, but it can't touch the deeper pain that affects the entire right side of my face.  It is especially bad when it gets in my upper teeth; it's as if I'm having my teeth drilled with no novacaine.  x__X


As many others had said, no doctor I have seen will admit that the flu shot had anything to do with the onset of shingles, but I know it did.  I was 100% healthy, rarely coming down with so much as a cold.  But because the company for which I work sent people around to every cube, bugging people until they got a free flu shot, against my better judgment I relented and it irreparably damaged my life.


Vaccines, in the aggregate, are a good thing for society and safe for most people.  But beware: for some of us there are dangers lurking in those injections.  If I had been unfortunate enough to get the flu that season I'd have been over it in 7-10 days.  Instead I ended up with chronic, incurable pain.

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By kmatthews, Community Member— Last Modified: 07/03/14, First Published: 10/15/10