Merck's shingles vaccine, Zostavax, r...

Merck's shingles vaccine, Zostavax, recommended for adults 60 and over, CDC says

There are 79 comments on the Canadian Business Magazine story from May 16, 2008, titled Merck's shingles vaccine, Zostavax, recommended for adults 60 and over, CDC says. In it, Canadian Business Magazine reports that:

Merck & Co. said Thursday the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that adults 60 and over be given the company's shingles vaccine Zostavax. via Canadian Business Magazine

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Canadian Business Magazine.


Raleigh, NC

#22 Mar 30, 2011
Dave wrote:
I would like to point out, that Zostavax can cause shingles. I was a healthy 64 year old male who received the Zostavax vaccine on 2/5/08. Ten days later, my doctor diagnosed me with "classic shingles". He put me on Valtrex for 7 days and I was still (1 month later) suffering with red spots on my (right) chest, pain in my right arm and shoulder, and severe itching. I notified Merck and my doctor also did! I read Merck's "double blind" studies, and nowhere does it simply say: this vaccine can cause you to contract shingles. I have all the documentation as well as pictures. Please caution anyone who wants to gamble with their health. I firmly believe that this vaccine will be removed from the market!
dave - I also had an adverse outbreak along with severe groin gland pain. I got the vaccine on 2/24/09, and I still have some serious shingle rashes on my upper back and body. I wish I would have never taken this vaccine. I almost should have known better, because my neighbor girl 19 at the time supposedly got hodgens lymphoma following the Gardisil vaccine injections. I do believe Merck is not studying/reporting/reacting to adverse reactions on both of these products. I do not know how to get rid of the horrible sores on my back, neck and lower scalp area. I hope at some point this levels off as the antibodies fall back, but fear I may have some nerve or gland involvement from it.

Newark, NJ

#23 May 1, 2011
10 yrs ago i had shingles in my eyes and face.i was in the hospital for 7 days in a private room.the pain is horrid.words cannot describe it.Last year I came down with breast cancer.All my Drs recom.I take the shot.I had to wait two months till I finished my radiation.I took the shot 3 days ago.i never hesitated for a second.Ill take my chances because if you ever had shingles you would never ever want it again.I too dont believe in the flu or pneumonia shot.I did it all since i got the cancer.I WANT TO LIVE.
Julie in Kentucky

United States

#24 Aug 6, 2011
My husband also received the shingles vaccine. 10 days later he awoke with chicken pox-like blisters on his ankles. Throughout the day they progressed upward and around his waist. He had a headache and felt a little lousy for several days. He's had the symptoms for a week now and is getting new breakouts. Now depression is setting in. Great. Why wasn't this possibility revealed to us?

Winnipeg, Canada

#25 Aug 22, 2011
ken wrote:
I would be interested to know if anybody else has actually gotten shingles from this zostavax vaccine...I was contemplating getting a shot, but..........
Its the chicken pox vaccine causing the shingles in older people. ws/ /12896.aspx

Winnipeg, Canada

#26 Aug 22, 2011 ws/ /12896.aspx

Winnipeg, Canada

#27 Aug 22, 2011
Don't know why those sites screw up. Here's another
61 year old male

Attleboro, MA

#28 Sep 6, 2011
Dave wrote:
I feel bad for the posters who have had Shingles outbreaks "triggered" by Zostavax. I use the word triggered, because many don't believe that the vaccine CAN cause Shingles. Whatever word you like, I can assure you that if you NEVER take the vaccine, you may never get Shingles. I can also assure you that I did get Shingles 10 days after receiving the shot. You are free to decide for yourself, but I would NEVER againn take this vaccine.
It is now 3 years since I had the shot. I no longer have pain or blisters, but periodically still have relatively mild itching on my right upper back.
Today I received an email from a gentleman who read about my probblem with this shot. He told me that his wife is in terrible pain 2 weeks after receiving the shot and wanted me to tell him how long she would be "disabled". I'm not going into details here, but I wrote back with my experiences.
Please be careful and DO NOT risk your health taking this shot.
I got shingles 6 days after getting the vaccine, so Dave is not the only one. I am on the anti-viral for 7 days. I hope it works. Thanks all for sharing their experience.

Winter Park, FL

#29 Oct 13, 2011
I never had canker sores in my life. Two weeks after taking the Shingles shot I got a terrible case of canker sores on my tongue. They went away and returned two weeks later. I went to my dentist. He said I had 14 canker sores and treated them with Dexamethasone. I went to my internist and he said I had no immune problems. My dentist teated the canker sores with Dexamethasone. After the canker sores on my tongue healed I got more canker sores on the inside of my lip. I wish I never took that Shingles shot.
Linda Haavie

Sugar Land, TX

#30 Nov 26, 2011
ken wrote:
I would be interested to know if anybody else has actually gotten shingles from this zostavax vaccine...I was contemplating getting a shot, but..........
A week after getting the shingles zostavax vaccine, I developed shingles. If I had known there was a chance of me getting shingles, I certainly would not have gotten the shot. In addition, my arm stayed sore at the site of the injection and itched for two weeks. I don't think the shot is worth it. I wish I hadn't gotten it.

Vernon Hills, IL

#31 Dec 30, 2011
I received the Shingles Vaccine on Dec 19 2011 and exactly 10 days latter the shingles rash appeared on my left side just above my waist.

Goleta, CA

#32 Feb 4, 2012
About 30 days after getting the vaccine, I started itching, first in my head and face. It continued for two weeks, culminating in a severe attack of burning, itching pain that lasted for 4 hours (almost went to hospital). No rash ever appeared though. The symptoms finally subsided after a few weeks.....only to appear again a month later. This time, tingling/burning/nerve pulses all over my head and face. Two blisters appeared on my hand. I went to 3 different doctors who would not acknowledge that it could be caused by the vaccine, and gave me itching pills. One Dr did concede that it could be Post Herpetic Neuralgia from the vaccing.

Bottom line, anyone can have any kind of reaction to a vaccine. There is no way to diagnose it or fix it. Now I am suffering thru continual itching and burning sensations, hoping that soon it will go away again.

In the beginning, I thought I had an allergy to something and removed all food and environmental factors that I thought could trigger it. Never having any health issues, it has been rearlly difficult dealing with this. I would NEVER NEVER NEVER get this vaccine. You DO NOT know how your body will react. No one, doctors, etc will acknowledge that I could have a reaction. They tell me to see a dermatologist. This is not a skin problem, its from the inside out! When I did take the PHN medication, all symptoms stopped which tells me that it is a nerve issue brought on by the vaccine.

Bottome line, do not take this vaccine. You do not know how your body will react. The "medical team" at Merck actually said that yes, it could be a reaction to the vaccine. I am so fed up with the medical system!

Cordova, TN

#33 May 15, 2012
Maybe you just have hives. I had hives for some unknown reason a couple of years ago. They went on for about a year, gradually easing as time passed. They were just big red itchy splotches. Cortisone cream helped some, but just the passage of time eventually seemed to be the cure. I think the cause might have been a huge allergic reaction to some plants in my yard as I did an extensive amount of yard work a couple of days before my outbreak began.

Santa Barbara, CA

#34 Jun 4, 2012
skeptic not wrote:
just the point...when kids got chicken pox..thanks to vaccines they no longer get chicken pox, polio and many more...<quoted text>
I am a pediatric nurse. the fact is that even though children do receive the chicken pox vaccine, some still DO get chicken pox, however it is often a milder case. FYI...

Springfield, VA

#35 Jun 5, 2012
I was just looking for a place to get the shingles shot when I found this. I do not think I will be getting the shot now.
Thank you all for posting

Fresno, OH

#36 Jun 20, 2012
I had chickenpox as a child, had shingles in 1994. I have not had a residual problem from the shingles. I had the injection of zostavax on 6/18. Tonight 6/20 I began to have a burning sensation in the area affected by the shingles. Have had 4 ibuprofen and the burning has subsided. I also sprayed the affected area with Benadryl spray. Not sure which/ or both helped, but I believe the burning is only temporary. I looked up the side effects and did not find where it causes shingles, but of course they don't put everything in writing. Here, in sites like this one, is where you find your information.

Carson City, NV

#37 Jun 22, 2012
My 83 year old mother has been treated recently for lymphoma and has had shingles out breaks every three months for the past year. Her oncologist finally agreed that she should have the shingles vaccine so she had it last Monday. Yesterday, 10 days later, she broke out in shingles again. Luckily, she doesn't suffer much pain.

Independence, MO

#38 Jul 13, 2012
I had the Zostavax on 6/28/2012. On 7/10/2012 I began to get and itching , painful rash on one side of my neck and face. I don't think it is a coincidence. My doctor does not either. I am now on a 7 day course of anti viral... and I hope it helps. There is no information in Merck's brochure that says it is possible to contract shingles from this live vaccine. Not so sure it was a great idea to get it. I guess time will tell. Fortunately my employer paid for it, or I would be feeling doubly injured.

Madison, TN

#39 Aug 27, 2012
ken wrote:
I would be interested to know if anybody else has actually gotten shingles from this zostavax vaccine...I was contemplating getting a shot, but..........
I just returned from the doctor with a positive outbreak of shingles. I took the shot 2 weeks before. I've had shingles once in my 30's. Had I known I could get a breakout I might not have gotten the shot. The doctor put me on Valtrex for 7 days. I wish I had researched more!
Mike in Paso

Paso Robles, CA

#41 Nov 7, 2012
I also just got Shingles approximately 10 days after the vaccination. No history of Shingles in family. Did it as preventative medicine. If i had it to do over again .....never.
It is not just coincidence this happened!
Kat S

Barstow, CA

#42 Nov 16, 2012
I received the vaccine at a physical on Oct. 19. Im a 50 year old female,never had shingles. After the injection became very ill. Fever and severe body aches, nausea and developed an infection at site of injection. Was injected with live virus vaccine. Had to take antibiotics for two weeks, for the cellulitis it caused. Four weeks later still have headaches and body aches. I have had all may vaccines, have never had reaction like this. I cant recommend to friends and family. I am a runner and was previously in great health.

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