4

votes

shingles vaccine

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 24, 2011 at 2:26 AM

My husband (71 years old and in excellent health) was told today by his physician that he should get a shingles vaccine. What do you think?

85ab8328de1aabccf880f050983b6f03

on January 13, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Susan Kosich, a decision to do all that you can to improve and balance your immune system function, instead of vaccination, has probably proven itself already, if that's what you are doing. Take a humble view of this video to see why: http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=E1C9BAD6FB584124B3B82D8B1047994D

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on October 04, 2011
at 03:56 AM

Not quite correct Stacy and Matt you have to of had chicken pox to get shingles - you cant get shingles if you have not had chicken pox - its just not possible. Shingles is the reactivation of Varicella-Zoster virus. But if you have no immunity to it in the first place you can get CP from someone with shingles - and that's almost worse

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 27, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Thats incorrect stacy and matt...the virus that gave you chicken pox as a child hangs out in the dorsal root ganglia of your nervous system in a dormant stage following you getting over the disease. It only becomes activated again in the form of shingles when the immune system is sufficiently suppressed. Your way off on the entire etiology of this disease. Please inform yourself.

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on September 27, 2011
at 02:24 AM

Exposure to varicella is what cause shingles outbreaks! Don't hang out with infected children! The issue is that we are vaccinating against chicken pox so older people are never re-exposed, hence the need for a vaccination. But if your immunity has already worn off (half life of 50 years), don't try to get Shingles! If you won't protect yourself, don't expose yourself to illness.

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on September 27, 2011
at 02:19 AM

The Shingles vaccine IS the Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. Any immunity to Varicella has a half life of 50 years. This is why people older than 50 get shingles, even if they have had chicken pox.

7fdf813e2163735257aaab72178ee864

(110)

on September 26, 2011
at 02:49 PM

I did not have a bad case and that sadi, it was awful.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2011
at 04:23 PM

Jay, as George Carlin says, your immune system needs practice to be any good and it needs noxious substances to practice with. Avoid all noxiousness at any cost and you'll end up being a sicko wuss. Secondly, I erred on the side of caution and took the vaccine, not so much looking for improvement in life as much as avoiding future impairment in life. Zero side effects three years later. It was a good choice I would make again, no beliefs necessary.

3c6f4e7b56361080955ab6cfce6a2772

on September 25, 2011
at 07:06 AM

Shingles are awful. Anything that reduces the risk is a blessing. Had them several times and wouldn't recommend the experience.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 10:56 PM

edrice, if you believe the shingles vaccine with increase either your quality or quantity of life then go for it. I just don't see it. I see a slight reduction in the number of people getting shingles in exchange for some known short term side effects and plenty of unknowns. Does it improve your life? I don't know, but in this case I will err on the side of caution...i.e. not injecting noxious substances into my body. To each their own, and I hope science continues to delve deep on the benefits and risks associated here.

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on September 24, 2011
at 10:32 PM

Get it. My healthy beautiful vivacious mother had shingles twice and they took her down like nothing I've ever seen before. A patch smaller than the size of your palm had her in agony - described as "getting kicked by a horse again but wired with electricity." For weeks she dealt with this until slowly they went away. After the second occurance she was finally able to get vaccinated. I wouldn't want anyone to have to go through what she did.

649698ae0a7ac90af80c860b32ad0e7f

on September 24, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Thanks, Jay. This is thoughtful input from all of you. We appreciate it. For now, were going to pass on the vaccine.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Jay, Choosing a "50% reduction with vaccine" or choosing "to treat with 'good health'" sounds like an easy choice to make when young but as you age you discover that life happens in spite of what you choose. Your comment about reduced immunity through increased stress happens to a lot of older people as they watch lifelong loved ones dying around them and immune systems take hits whether they chose "good health" or not. When most of the sand is through your hourglass you look a bit more seriously at how your remaining days will play out. I'm in good health now but I chose the vaccine AnyWay.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:55 PM

@ mth, your right no reason to laugh at the doctor....standard operating procedure for him. I was actually just trying to point out that I was not ridiculing the OP or her question, only the current dogma around vaccines which tends not to take into consideration individual health status, living circumstances, and so forth only to make broad sweeping recommendations that every individual have every single one that they can think up regardless of obvious differences between individual need.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:48 PM

In addition, although all the info isn't in, I would tend to believe an individual with a relative healthy lifestyle actually getting shingles would be far more likely to have an attack that is self limiting and mild. The OP did state her husband was in "EXCELLENT HEALH", not just good hence my response to the negative in his case. I do agree there are many factors to consider on this issue, and each vaccine/disease merits evaluation on an individual basis rather than just being "for" or "against" vaccination in general. At least that is my approach.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:44 PM

@ Jay they may, in fact I saw this question late at night and did throw in a rather flippant negative comment in regards to this vaccine. To elaborate I see this vaccine as nothing special. As shingles happens during times of reduced immunity and increased stress/allostatic loads, lifestyle is very effective in reducing risk without need of vaccination. In my view relative low risk of getting the disease (3.9–11.8 per year per 1,000 individuals among those older than 65 years.or so) already so 50% reduction with vaccine or just treat with "good health"...I choose the latter myself.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 24, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Jay, I wonder if people confuse you and me? My instinct (probably like you) is that vaccines are likely less beneficial and more harmful than most people think. That said, your answer is irritating because it's never so simple. Overall, I still err on the side of getting vaccines because, as far as I am aware, the arguments for outweigh the arguments against, my instinct notwithstanding.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2011
at 01:39 PM

The 72-year-old doctor who recommended the vaccine to me had just recently had shingles himself. He said any potential side effects from the vaccine pale in comparison to the side effects of shingles. He knew. I took it.

Bbb65ec11a5cecf3a5fd9f400c979854

(124)

on September 24, 2011
at 12:28 PM

I agree with Karen. Please explain why this is laughable.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on September 24, 2011
at 11:50 AM

This really needs a bit more explanation to be a real answer. The pro shingles vaccine people have given theirs. What's yours?

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 24, 2011
at 11:31 AM

Why the laughter at the physician?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:02 AM

btw... not laughing at the question, but that a physician is seriously recommending this.

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10 Answers

best answer

7
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on September 24, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Paleo doesn't mean not taking advantage of modern medicine; especially things that prevent or treat infectious disease. It's important to be knowledgeable about any decision you make with regards to your health, but it seems like a no-brainer to me.

5
Aa980538051add291860e4602585352c

(193)

on September 24, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I'm just going to pop in here and say be careful if he doesn't end up having the vaccine. I had shingles in 2009 and it is one of the most painful, debilitating infections one can get.

7fdf813e2163735257aaab72178ee864

(110)

on September 26, 2011
at 02:49 PM

I did not have a bad case and that sadi, it was awful.

2
145d4b0f988af15acc6b26eccc1f4895

on September 24, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Not sure whether people are aware, but the shingles vaccine is now available for people 50 and above (the vaccine was originally only available for 60 and up). A huge trial was conducted to see what the risks and benefits were for people between 50 and 60. My husband and I were both paid participants in the trial. We were both in our late 50's/.

It was clear from the get-go, that (although this was a double-blind trial) I received the vaccine and he did not. I got a large swelled, itchy area on my arm that lasted some 5-7 days (which is very unusual for me). Hubby got no reaction at all. Other than the rash, there were no untoward effects for me. At the end of the trial period, we each got a letter telling us whether we got the vaccine or not, and, sure enough, I did - and he didn't.

After seeing my mother (who was in "excellent health" at the time) suffer for years with shingles, I decided I wasn't going to get it if there was any way to avoid it. I know that the vaccine only reduces your risk, but if there's a chance your husband can be spared the agony of the shingles, he should take the vaccine.

2
286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

on September 24, 2011
at 10:54 AM

If he has had the chicken pox already in life - I don't see why you would not - Shingles after 60 is debilitating and painful - not just while you have it but for the rest of your life.

But on the other hand not everyone gets shingles - you have to outweigh the risks of getting shingles to not getting it. I don't think its a blanket "no don't get it" answer. From what I read its quite a benign vaccine but it only lasts about 6 years.

3c6f4e7b56361080955ab6cfce6a2772

on September 25, 2011
at 07:06 AM

Shingles are awful. Anything that reduces the risk is a blessing. Had them several times and wouldn't recommend the experience.

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on September 27, 2011
at 02:19 AM

The Shingles vaccine IS the Varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. Any immunity to Varicella has a half life of 50 years. This is why people older than 50 get shingles, even if they have had chicken pox.

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212

(1288)

on October 04, 2011
at 03:56 AM

Not quite correct Stacy and Matt you have to of had chicken pox to get shingles - you cant get shingles if you have not had chicken pox - its just not possible. Shingles is the reactivation of Varicella-Zoster virus. But if you have no immunity to it in the first place you can get CP from someone with shingles - and that's almost worse

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on September 26, 2011
at 01:56 AM

we're all one car wreck away from a time of reduced health. In general, I think my immune system is in pretty good shape, but witawital says, "shit happens"

1
5a49aa7af6c54e6feaf85df299472001

on September 25, 2011
at 04:11 AM

shit happens. get it.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 03:42 PM

As I wrote in comments...sorry for my original flippant answer, I will elaborate...

From Wikipedia (which I hate to use as a source, but its just a quick point) A 2006 study of 243 cases and 483 matched controls found that fresh fruit is associated with a reduced risk of developing shingles???people who consumed less than one serving of fruit a day had a risk three times as great as those who consumed more than three servings, after adjusting for other factors such as total energy intake. For those aged 60 or more, vitamins and vegetable intake had a similar association.

So, just 3 servings of fruit or vegetables in a day and you reduce risk quite significantly. I'm of the mind that no matter how inert we find a vaccine to be, it is still an intervention with risk, which should be measured against the prevalence and seriousness of the disease for which it supposedly reduces our risk of contracting.

The case studies for this vaccine show a reduced risk of %50...it really just does not seem high enough for me. If proper nutrition and lifestyle get my risks down to 1-3/1000 (not meant to be hard numbers, but a general extrapolation), then I'll just take my chances from there rather than topping off with a vaccine that may or may not get me down another 50%. Or if your grand kids, or any kids in your area get the chicken pox go hang out with them!(you get an immune boost right there %25 reduced risk). Of course many kids are vaccinated against this also these days, an issue that is actually quite relevant seeing as we would be naturally getting this immune boost from them rather than another vaccine.

Hubby is in "Excellent Health"...I would skip it. Even if he were to contract it, its of my mind those in better health would have a far more mild and self limiting version of the disease. Of course this is a heated topic, and like many here I have done a lot of reading on the subject. In the end you have to make the call, and either way wish you both the best.

649698ae0a7ac90af80c860b32ad0e7f

on September 24, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Thanks, Jay. This is thoughtful input from all of you. We appreciate it. For now, were going to pass on the vaccine.

F3e312545761ab663e37e6c2d5c831ea

(1049)

on September 27, 2011
at 02:24 AM

Exposure to varicella is what cause shingles outbreaks! Don't hang out with infected children! The issue is that we are vaccinating against chicken pox so older people are never re-exposed, hence the need for a vaccination. But if your immunity has already worn off (half life of 50 years), don't try to get Shingles! If you won't protect yourself, don't expose yourself to illness.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 27, 2011
at 06:59 PM

Thats incorrect stacy and matt...the virus that gave you chicken pox as a child hangs out in the dorsal root ganglia of your nervous system in a dormant stage following you getting over the disease. It only becomes activated again in the form of shingles when the immune system is sufficiently suppressed. Your way off on the entire etiology of this disease. Please inform yourself.

85ab8328de1aabccf880f050983b6f03

on January 13, 2013
at 02:50 AM

Susan Kosich, a decision to do all that you can to improve and balance your immune system function, instead of vaccination, has probably proven itself already, if that's what you are doing. Take a humble view of this video to see why: http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=E1C9BAD6FB584124B3B82D8B1047994D

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2011
at 12:37 PM

I look for vaccine ingredients. Without it, I wouldn't take it. Thimerosal isn't the only thing.

If you say he is of good health, I doubt it would be useful anyway with good nutrition. If his nutrition is not OK its worth considering.

1
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 24, 2011
at 11:29 AM

I would/will. The vaccine reduces the risk (according to clinical trials) by 50%. Even if they are fudging the numbers and it reduced the risk by 10%, I'd still get it since it appears the side effects/risks are low. They also say 1 Million people in the USA get shingles every year.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/vacc-need-know.htm#notGet-vaccine

From the CDC:

No serious problems have been identified with shingles vaccine.

The vaccine has been tested in about 20,000 people aged 60 years old and older. The most common side effects in people who got the vaccine were redness, soreness, swelling or itching at the shot site, and headache. CDC, working with the FDA, will continue to monitor the safety of the vaccine after it is in general use.

It is safe to be around infants and young children, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems after you get the shingles vaccine. There is no documentation of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the shingles vaccine (which contains varicella zoster virus).

Some people who get the shingles vaccine will develop a chickenpox-like rash near the place where they were vaccinated. As a precaution, this rash should be covered until it disappears.

The shingles vaccine does not contain thimerosal (a preservative containing mercury).

-3
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 03:58 AM

lol....just seriously lol. Don't.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on September 24, 2011
at 11:31 AM

Why the laughter at the physician?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:55 PM

@ mth, your right no reason to laugh at the doctor....standard operating procedure for him. I was actually just trying to point out that I was not ridiculing the OP or her question, only the current dogma around vaccines which tends not to take into consideration individual health status, living circumstances, and so forth only to make broad sweeping recommendations that every individual have every single one that they can think up regardless of obvious differences between individual need.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 25, 2011
at 04:23 PM

Jay, as George Carlin says, your immune system needs practice to be any good and it needs noxious substances to practice with. Avoid all noxiousness at any cost and you'll end up being a sicko wuss. Secondly, I erred on the side of caution and took the vaccine, not so much looking for improvement in life as much as avoiding future impairment in life. Zero side effects three years later. It was a good choice I would make again, no beliefs necessary.

Bbb65ec11a5cecf3a5fd9f400c979854

(124)

on September 24, 2011
at 12:28 PM

I agree with Karen. Please explain why this is laughable.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on September 24, 2011
at 11:50 AM

This really needs a bit more explanation to be a real answer. The pro shingles vaccine people have given theirs. What's yours?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2011
at 01:39 PM

The 72-year-old doctor who recommended the vaccine to me had just recently had shingles himself. He said any potential side effects from the vaccine pale in comparison to the side effects of shingles. He knew. I took it.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on September 24, 2011
at 01:49 PM

Jay, I wonder if people confuse you and me? My instinct (probably like you) is that vaccines are likely less beneficial and more harmful than most people think. That said, your answer is irritating because it's never so simple. Overall, I still err on the side of getting vaccines because, as far as I am aware, the arguments for outweigh the arguments against, my instinct notwithstanding.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:02 AM

btw... not laughing at the question, but that a physician is seriously recommending this.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:44 PM

@ Jay they may, in fact I saw this question late at night and did throw in a rather flippant negative comment in regards to this vaccine. To elaborate I see this vaccine as nothing special. As shingles happens during times of reduced immunity and increased stress/allostatic loads, lifestyle is very effective in reducing risk without need of vaccination. In my view relative low risk of getting the disease (3.9–11.8 per year per 1,000 individuals among those older than 65 years.or so) already so 50% reduction with vaccine or just treat with "good health"...I choose the latter myself.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 10:56 PM

edrice, if you believe the shingles vaccine with increase either your quality or quantity of life then go for it. I just don't see it. I see a slight reduction in the number of people getting shingles in exchange for some known short term side effects and plenty of unknowns. Does it improve your life? I don't know, but in this case I will err on the side of caution...i.e. not injecting noxious substances into my body. To each their own, and I hope science continues to delve deep on the benefits and risks associated here.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on September 24, 2011
at 02:48 PM

In addition, although all the info isn't in, I would tend to believe an individual with a relative healthy lifestyle actually getting shingles would be far more likely to have an attack that is self limiting and mild. The OP did state her husband was in "EXCELLENT HEALH", not just good hence my response to the negative in his case. I do agree there are many factors to consider on this issue, and each vaccine/disease merits evaluation on an individual basis rather than just being "for" or "against" vaccination in general. At least that is my approach.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 24, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Jay, Choosing a "50% reduction with vaccine" or choosing "to treat with 'good health'" sounds like an easy choice to make when young but as you age you discover that life happens in spite of what you choose. Your comment about reduced immunity through increased stress happens to a lot of older people as they watch lifelong loved ones dying around them and immune systems take hits whether they chose "good health" or not. When most of the sand is through your hourglass you look a bit more seriously at how your remaining days will play out. I'm in good health now but I chose the vaccine AnyWay.

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