Shingles Shot - have you gotten one? Any side effects?

My doctor authorized a shingles shot for me at the pharmacy (a couple months ago, I hope it’s still in effect). I can stop in to get it any time. Some people said they’ve had a troublesome reaction, some said don’t be stupid, it’s a pinprick in the arm. I really want to get that vaccine but want to be prepared for any reaction.

I had one a few years ago. They will put a little bandaid over the shot site and tell you to keep it on. Take this advice: Keep the bandaid on. Otherwise the little shingle-blister that forms will spread and get irritated and you may end up with a patchwork of little bandaids on your arm trying to cover a number of blisters to keep them from getting worse. Believe me, I know.

My wife just got one last month and had some immune system response kick in. The medication sheet that my wife came home with warned of some side effects that pretty much matched what she had. The arm was warm, red, and slightly swollen at the injection site. She had some flu-like symptoms but no fever. It was nothing debilitating, but she was kind of run down with a very achy arm for about three days.

There are different types of shingles vaccine. She had a different one a few years ago and no ill effects, but her doctor told her they now have a new, more effective one (I am not 100% positive that link is the same one that my wife got) that she should get to come up to date.

Not everyone will have these reactions but they are certainly possible. To those who say it’s just a pinprick in the arm, I say don’t be stupid, it’s injecting foreign substances into your body to stimulate the immune system, so you may have some side effects.

Almost certainly different than what you would get this year.

My only problem was a muscle soreness at the injection site for a few days.

I had no side effects.

The old one was a live vaccine. Apparently, the new one is not. Nonetheless, I had the old one a few years ago. IMO, if you had chicken pox as a kid (I did), it was worth the risk - you don’t want shingles. The new one, probably even more so. I notice that they are even saying that you may want to get revaccinated with the new one if you had the old one, perhaps waiting for insurance to cover / prices to come down.

True - a few years ago Zostavax was the only vaccine and was recommended for those over 60. It contains a live, weakened virus - injected subcutaneously.

There is a new one this year, Shingix for anyone over 50 - even those who got the first one. It is a two dose, virus antigen (not live) vaccine with an adjuvant. The adjuvant enhances your immune response but can cause soreness for a few days because it is an intramuscular injection.

Haven’t had it myself, but a number of friends have quite recently, and their reports were uniformly positive. We were all pitying the one lady in our group who never got vaccinated and had a horrible attack of shingles this year.

My thoughts exactly. I have a couple of acquaintances that endured shingles, and it’s not something you want to risk going through. A couple of days of flu-like symptoms after getting the shot (which I understand is the worst reasonable side-effect that you’ll be risking) is nothing compared to enduring shingles.

Oh, and I had my shingles shot a couple of years ago at my doctor’s suggestion. A little soreness in the arm for a couple of days was my only symptom.

Moderator Action

Since this is looking for personal experiences, it is better suited to IMHO. So, let’s move it there. Any factual information about side effects or other aspects of the topic is of course still welcome.

Moving thread from GQ to IMHO.

Got the first of the new 2 shot series missing February, will get the second next week. Only reaction to the first shot was a little soreness for a day or so. I’m 72 if it matters.

The Official “GaryM” of the Internet

I have had both. I got the first Shingrix vaccine shot a month ago. The injection site was sore for a couple of days. I am 65.

I got one a few years ago. No big problems, though it was sore for several days longer than other shots I’ve had.

A guy I work with got the first shot of the two-shot version last week, and he’s still suffering from it. Dizziness, enough pain that he needs to medicate for it, and falling asleep at his desk. He’s 65, with COPD, if that makes a difference.

Me, too.

That was about the same for me, maybe 1 1/2 years ago.

ETA: Mom and dad both had shingles. Do Not Want!

Got the first Shinglix shot a month ago. No noticeable reaction whatsoever.

So far I haven’t gotten shingles. The little bit of soreness after the shot is well worth it.

The linked article says this about Shingrix:

Sounds great, but it’s still very new, and I’m a little cautious about brand new treatments and vaccines. So I’m on the fence here.