Vaccine Choice - Respect the Answer
New York Times Print Headline About Vaccine Science Radically Different from Online Version

Doctor Describes Severe Reaction to Shingrix Vaccine with Refreshing Transparency

ShinglesBy Kim Rossi

Many years ago, I worked for a wonderful woman who became a mentor and second mother to me. She had a saying, "Don't punish progress."  I think of her wise words every day. When one of my girls attempts to put a dish in the dishwasher - I praise her and show her how to rinse off the globs of food rather than saying, "That was good BUT...."  Buts are rotten.  They negate praise.

I often think we're missing this point in the vaccine injury community. We've sides and factions and I've seen some pretty cruel shaming and blaming over the years for being too anti-vax or not not anti-vax enough.  Many of us have kids with autism - young and adult. We're just trying to get through the day unscathed or not too scathed, and the jabs and slings and arrows really hurt. You do your thing and let me do mine. Below is a question from a medical advice column that ran in The Detroit News. Dr. Roach answers honestly about Shingrix (shingles vax) side effects. Shingles are terribly painful and disruptive and people are getting shingles younger and younger - even as children no longer get chicken pox in the same numbers. (Mother Nature exacts her pound of flesh, doesn't she?) Dr. Roach says up to 10% of recipients may experience severe side effects. That's progress. He doesn't say NEVER EVER GET THIS VACCINE!  (I'm over 50 and I ain't nevah evah getting this vaccine, FYI.)  I can understand someone  outside our community wanting Shingrix to prevent shingles. Dr. Roach also suggested Tylenol. Ugh. Still, he acknowledges side effects in a major US newspaper. That's progress.


Doc: Better to prepare for repeat of Shingrix reaction

Dear Dr. Roach: I received the first dose of Shingrix (which help prevent getting shingles) this week and had pretty severe side effects, though in the range of what can be expected: high fever (101.5), intense shivering, a severe headache and 12 hours of extreme fatigue. The entire reaction began 11 hours after the shot and ended 18 hours after that. I am 61 and in excellent health, taking only 25 mcg of levothyroxine daily.

I have a few questions that I hope you can answer. I’ve tried looking at the clinical trial results for Shingrix, but I am not qualified to understand the information as presented.

1. Is it likely that I’ll have a similar (or worse?) reaction to the second shot? The package insert says one can react to the first, second, neither or both.

2. Are both injections identical?

3. When I had chickenpox as a child, I was way sicker than the average kid. Related?

4. If I get shingles, do I have a higher risk for a severe case?


Dear J.G.: Compared with the previous one-time vaccine Zostavax, the new two-dose Shingrix vaccine is much more effective. However, it does have a higher risk of side effects. You have had the most common side effect, though only 10 percent of people will have symptoms as bad as yours. These symptoms are caused by your body mounting an inflammatory response to the glycoprotein in the vaccine (the new vaccine does not contain a live virus). You clearly have a robust system to fight off infection.

To answer your questions in order: You are at higher risk for a similar reaction for the second shot. I would plan your day accordingly, and premedicate with Tylenol (even though it may make the vaccine slightly less effective). The second vaccine is identical to the first. I have read recent reports that there are widespread shortages of the vaccine.

Chickenpox and shingles can affect you both by the virus attacking you and by an exuberant inflammatory and immune reaction. I would guess that you are at lower risk for viral complications (such as infection of the eye, brain or lungs) but at higher risk for symptoms due to your own system, such as high fever. In many cases, the body’s response to infection can be as damaging as the infection itself.


Krystyna Marcom

Since I received my first shot of Shingrix on Sept.4th, 2018, I have been plagued by skin rashes, hives, and small crusty outbreaks on various parts of the body, even my eyesight is affected on occasion. The itching is almost painful. Also have had cracking finger tips, pain in my feet, and strange pain in my ear on occasionally. Have not been able to get any answers as to how long this will last, or what to do about the second injection. Was told by a health care professional to take Benadryl for the skin eruptions. I will not be getting a the second shot.

The pain and swelling in the injection site went away after a week or so.

Joanne B.

Had first Shingrix early October. Side effects minimal. Got the second on Saturday January 5. Next day temperature 101, chills, exhaustion, could not get out of bed. Monday and Tuesday felt better but today back to chills, exhaustion, brain fog.....too tired to stand. My arm is still red swollen, still extremely painful to touch. I hope and pray this gets better.


I got my shot Jan 2. It's the 9th n I still don't feel good. The shot and my arm hurt So bad for 5 days. I couldn't eat or would get very sick. Had headache n neck pain, dizzy, nausea, so cold I'd shake, my liver and rt kidney hurts and I'm peeing brown (looks like coffee). I'm exhausted and my ears ringing loud. Yesterday I finally felt ok n ate but neck started hurting again. Today the 9th ears ringing n brown pee again. Haven't tried to eat yet... Mostly living on water n a piece of toast. Scared to get second shot which also was $175 outta pocket.


I received my first dose of Shingrix on Sept. 17. In addition to the site pain (which I expected), my entire body felt miserable all night. Less than 20 hours later, I suffered a pontilar stroke (in my brainstem) and was ambulanced to the hospital. Fortunately, the stroke was minor and I was sent home with an aspirin and Plavix regimen. I spoke to one doctor who said that vaccines can prompt the Fight or Flight Response, which can include hypercoagulation, and that may have brought on the stroke.

Four weeks later, I suffered an epidural hematoma in my spine (worst pain that I've ever experienced). Another ambulance ride! I quickly became paralyzed from the waist down until they were able to get some steroids in me and some platelets to stop the bleeding. Since I was improving and gaining my feeling back in my legs, the neurosurgeon wanted to forestall a laminectomy intended to relieve pressure from the bleed, which he said was most likely caused by the Plavix.

Now I have mostly recovered and am only dealing with some sciatic pain down one leg and overall weakness. What a fun ride! Am I taking the second dose of Shingrix? As my doctor said, shingles may hurt like hell, but they're unlikely to kill me. The vaccine just might.

J Do

I got the Shingrix vaccination 2 wks ago. I feel like I have been having heart palpitations, chest pressure, my head feels "full", headaches, pressure across bridge of nose, ears ringing and feel like they need to pop, dizziness. I am 71, in relatively good health, bike 10 miles/day. Have no idea if these symptoms are r/t vax, but just don't feel well.


My husband had his second Shingrix shot around December 8th -experienced sweats, aches, chills, etc and by Demecber 17th he was dead! Still waiting on toxicology reports but had some sort of stroke-heart attack. My husband went to CrossFit 6 days a week, vegetarian and had perfect blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I’m convenience it was the shingles shot.. who do I contact about a class action lawsuit?

Terri Mitchell

I got the first shot in July of 2018 and had the general flu like symptoms but at the site I had what was diganossed as cellulitis.My arm hot red and swollen had to be in antibiotics. Consulted with my Dr about getting the next dose she advised to get it but to take Benadryl prior to and day after, well today is day is day 3 and I have been to the walk-in with severe redness swelling,my arm is hot, itching, fever and also had severe headache and body aches.Im definitely not advising my friends and family to get this vaccine.


I had a first shot of Shingrix on the 19 of october and was sick the next day and that pass quite fast and then little tingle in the right legs started, shortly after It when down in my shin and foot and had pain since. I was not able to sleep for many day until I found that Advil work better then Tylenol. So now I still have pain and my right foot is swollen , but with Advil I can manage to work and sleep at night.
I do not know wether it is the vaccine but the coincidence is strong.


I received the first Shingrix vaccine on December 7, 2018. Within 24 hours I began getting chills, fever and a nerve pain that started in my lower back and spread down my right butt cheek and leg to my right foot. Let me explain that I’ve had exitsting nerve pain in this same area from a lower back injury that occurred years ago at work. However that nerve pain has been managed pretty well with daily doses of Celebrex and Tylenol - up until I received the first Shingrix vaccine. Now the nerve pain in my right butt cheek, right leg and foot are back again and so strong that the Celebrex and Tylenol are useless in controlling this pain. I cannot even sleep at night the pain is so bad. I’ve contacted my PCP and the pharmacy to see if I should continue with the second vaccine and if these nerve pain symptoms are directly related to the vaccine. I was told that I should only have experienced some “muscle pain for a few days.” It’s now December 28. I received the vaccine on December 7th as I stated earlier and the pain is still very strong. I believe these nerve pain symptoms are not a coincidence of receiving this vaccine. Now I’m afraid of getting the second vaccine. Anyone else have these same symptoms of nerve pain?


I had the 1st Shingrix shot on 12/7 and have had issues with my ears from 12/8 on. They feel like they need to pop-same reaction I get when flying. My hearing is somewhat worse because of this and it has also affected my balance some. Hoping it clears up in time.


First dose was late August, second was late October. About 2 weeks after second dose ringing began in my ears. Has not left and it's been over a month. Will schedule appt with ENT. I see one post above with similar issue. Has anyone else experienced same?

Kim Riffel

I found this site because I am miserable 2 days after my 2nd Shingrix shot. After reading about the more severe reactions here, perhaps I am lucky thus far. With the first shot I had a hard knot & pain in the injection arm for a week or so. I don't believe it was the nurse's fault. Both times I got the Shingrix I got the painful knot, & as a nurse, I believe the shot was appropriately given. I had some generalized soreness & headache both times as well. It's much worse this time, making it exhausting & painful to stand for long, & I know that I am very irritable because I don't feel like myself. I am pacing myself when I ordinarily have plenty of energy. The headache moves up the back of the neck & over the skull. My shoulders are tight & constantly ache; more so when I move. There is back discomfort that also feels muscular. Since I didn't have these effects so strongly the first time, I decided to look up whether they are related to the shot. I have also considered the possibility that I could have cancer, fibromyalgia or even ischemia. Now I do believe it is the vaccine. My husband also got the two Shingrix doses. With the first he woke up in the night with shaking, generalized pain/aching & fear that he might be having an MI. He had a minimal reaction with the second. As a nurse, I never got the flu shot until the past few years when I would have been fired if not. After my own experience with the Shingrix, I would never recommend that someone get it. I also feel like a guinea pig now. When I asked questions about potential side effects I was told "no worries; some arm soreness." I feel silly that I dodn't do more research before I got it, because I wouldn't have. Doctors, nurses, & nurse practitioners scared me into it. But the testimony of someone in this discussion who had shingles several times, & still wouldn't risk the vaccine, was powerful. NO Shingrix!

Joanne Hayes

Had first Shingrix shot on 7/18/2018. For next 3 days, I had flu-like symptoms. Then continued with weakness,lethargy, pains in body. Severe pain in the rims of my ears, pain up back, neck and severe headaches that would wake me from sleep. Was very healthy before vaccine. Walked about 3 miles per day and then following vaccine for about 2 months, it was an effort to even walk. Food shopping became a real problem. Even taking a bath hurt. I had severe pain in my right arm and definite swelling u der my arm. Now almost 5 months later, the swelling under my arm has improved, but my arm and shoulder are still very painful. I filled out a questionnaire with the CDC citing my experience with Shingrix vaccine. I hope everyone will take the time to fill out the CDC form too.


I am posting this comment as a plea for others who has received the Shingrix injections to please read this in it’s entirety & comment if you are someone you love has suffered from any adverse reactions after receiving the injection.
I sit here writing this with the huge worry that my parents may not ever be able to recover & want to see if there are others that may have experienced any of the same adverse reactions to this drug as well.
Both of my parents received their 1st injection of Shingrix on 7/6/18 & their 2nd injection on 10/10/18.
Since that time my parents, my brother, myself, & numerous friends and family have started noticing a huge decline in my parents health.
After going back & looking at my mother’s calendar (she keeps notes on it, much like one would keep notes in a diary), My parents, my family & I have come to realize that all their health problems started and coincided with their 1st injection of Shingrix, so now I am trying to determine if it could possibly be this drug that is causing these health problems.
A few health issues they have now had were listed by the drug manufacturer as possible side effects, such as fever, chills, which both occurred within 24 hours of receiving their injections, while others much worse were not shown.
Our family is greatly concerned, we have watched as these 2 healthy, vital, active adults seem to loose their independence more and more each day.
My father whom is in his early 80’s & was absolutely in great health prior to these injections walked 2 miles each day around their neighborhood religiously, & many of those living in the neighborhood refer to him as the “walking man”, but within just a day or two of receiving his 1 injection he started suffering from a definite discomfort to his right side back area where his bottom ribs connect to his spine, and his right knee became weak, and felt to him like as he himself described it “my knee feels as if it wants to double backwards, or collapse under me”, he thought well possibly he slept crooked the night before, but soon realize it had to be something more. He went out & purchased a back brace, tried a heating pad, & ice packs but nothing seemed to help.
As more time passed and the 2nd injection was received by my father within just a few more days he began to loose muscle strength in not one but in both of his legs, making it hard for him to rise and stand any longer from a sitting position after he had been sitting for any amount of time. Upon rising he began experiencing severe pain in right leg muscle & knee area causing him to have problems controlling his balance or walking, which again was something he had never had any problems with prior to both the 1 injection, and then the 2nd injection seemed to put it over the top for him.
As I post this on 12/4/18, I wish for all to know that as of 5 days ago my father is no longer able to stand or walk without the assistance of others or a walker. He is scheduled for a MRI later this week.
My mother also in her early 80’s & also in great health, began having noticeable health issues within a 3 to 5 days of having her injection as well.
One such health issue is her extreme hearing loss, which she has not been able to regain back. This is a woman that previous to this injection could hear a Gnat land on a window seal at 100 feet away, and whose grandchildren refer to her as “old radar ears”, jokingly.
Since my mothers sudden loss of hearing within the first week after receiving the 1st injection my mother has sought out the help of a ear specialist, she has had hearing tests done showing a dramatic loss of hearing & understanding, she has had MRI’s, and after all else was ruled out her specialist decided that possibly allowing them to place Eustachian tubes in both her ears might resolve some of her hearing loss, but it has not, so even after surgery was completed, there has been no improvement what so ever, and they continue to look for but have not been able to find what the source of her hearing loss as of this time.
My mother is also a B-cell lymphoma cancer survivor, that is 20+ years clear.
Her yearly mammogram was already scheduled for July 30th, prior to her receiving her first Shingrix injection on July 6th. It was after this mammogram that she was alerted that she for the 1st time since her cancer diagnosis had a swollen Lymph node gland under her right arm pit, (this was listed as a possible side effect by the drugs manufacturer), She was not aware of this, and the information on this side effect is rather buried, and it took a bit of research for us to actually find. Can you even begin to imagine the scare my mother & father went through, hearing these words again, after being a 20+ yrs. survivor of lymphoma.
My mother was immediately scheduled for a follow up mammogram, along with a sonogram/ultrasound on the 7th of August.
This 2nd mammogram found no change, and the sonogram/ultrasound confirmed the enlarged lymph node seen by the mammogram, so she was scheduled her for a follow up needle biopsy.
Praise to God our prayers were answered, her biopsy returned clean with no sign of cancer, but her physician wanting to error on the side of caution requested she have another sonogram/ultrasound, in 3 to 4 months. My mother just had all of these done again at the end of last week and is still awaiting the results back from her Dr. as I am posting this.
So, once again I ask .... If you or a family member also experienced any long lasting side effects from this drug, please let us know by commenting below, so we might at least know that we are not alone.
Thank you in advance for any info you may be able to share with us.


This has been a big pharma sales pitch, and a hoax! "GSK" pushed the 2 part shot, and they do not even have enough part 2 shots to match part 1 shot! The doctors offices that administered part 1 shot say go to the drug store to get the part 2 shot. "CVS" pharmacy says that if you did not get part 1 from them you can not get part 2 from them! No more "CVS" for me, they now lost me as a once loyal customer!
Is it now OK to skip the part 2 shot, all together? Who knows, because the drug has not been out long enough to know! We must be part of their monkey study! I think there may be a "Class Action" lawsuit here! I am disgusted! "GSK" is now making lip service that the "CDC" gave approval to take shot 2 after 6 months! So, who at "GSK" wined and dined who at the "CDC"? Just disgusting, and all about big pharma money! It's a HOAX and a SCAM! Is do not go for it!


I have had a terrible reaction to the second vaccination. I had all the expected flu like symptoms but also head pressure and break out in a sweat. Now my right leg feels like it has been plugged in. It feels fried - hurts, burns and itches. I wasn’t that bad for the first 2 days now I feel terrible. I got the shot over a month ago. I called the cdc, fda, and GlaxoSmithKline and reported my situation.
They really don’t know how effective it will be in 5 years. 1 in 10 are reporting it to the cdc. Many are having severe reactions.
I wish I had never gotten the shot I really feel like I have shingles.

Jeannette Bishop

@Shelly, the Zostavax package insert (and probably other vaccine inserts) lists "hearing loss" as a potential outcome, so I wouldn't dismiss it as being related...

...but there is a huge increase in tinnitus (which may not be exactly what you are dealing with) occurring due in large part to the rise of wireless radiation in our culture, just in case being help to reduce that exposure helps you, but even if that does help, that does not negate a possible role for the vaccine IMO.


I had my first Shingrix vaccine 2 months ago and have an appt to get the second. Has anyone heard of severe ear ringing after receiving this vaccine? I also have numbness in my thumb and forefinger, probably due to the nurse hitting a nerve in my arm. It hurt for almost 2 weeks!
The ear ringing is driving me absolutely crazy...

L. T. Delegall

I had a severe case of chickenpox 55 years ago. In order to avoid shingles as an adult, I had the 1st Shingrix vaccine Oct. 9. I had the fever and a light rash around the injection site. Two evenings later, I still ran a low fever, but never anything too difficult. On the 6th day I had my first chickenpox, yes, chickenpox! It’s wasnt shingles—there’s a huge difference. By the 10th day, I had a dozen pox on the side where the injection was taken, on my right arm, face, and chest. They itched like the dickings! I reported it to the CDC and they said it couldn’t be chickenpox, yet one of their doctors thought it could be, but I would only be “slightly contagious.” I said, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. My husband (who has never had chickenpox) never came down with them, so I guess that doctor was right. I know I was not exposed to chickenpox before the vaccine and wouldn’t that be an amazing coincidence—and, don’t forget, I’ve already had them and should be immune. I can’t be the only person this has ever happen to. The CDC says I still need the Shingrix vaccine in January, but I’m timid about doing that again.

Ellen Coviello

I have had tingling in legs and hands, horrible pain in my wrists, shakiness, and now I coincidentally, yesterday, I got both a cold sore and temporary loss of vision in one eye.

So far, no one can find anything wrong with me. It's so scary.

I was given shingles pain medicine for my legs and shingles med for my cold sore!

hmmmm Shingles meds? Do I have internal shingles? Something is terribly wrong

At the same time that this started with me, my husband developed plantar faciitis. Nerve pain.

This has been going on for three months.

Tammy Zavala

Yep, took the first shot of the shingrix vaccine and within a week or two I had walking pneumonia, RSV, edema, and severe neuropathy of both feet/legs. I was forced to go on FMLA because I could not walk and I needed my medical insurance to seek treatment. Of course not one doctor nor pharmacist will say that the vaccine caused the overall illness, but I am far from stupid. The only stupid thing I did was take the first shot of the vaccine. Has anyone else had such a bad reaction?

david m burd

Pete, you said "Many people whose cancer disappeared overnight had just had a high fever which they didn't suppress."

This is what the surgeon Dr. William Coley over 100 years ago actually achieved with his cancer therapy, when he deliberately caused patients temperatures to soar to 105F by injecting (or scraping their skin) with a variety of toxic bacteria and other substances. Thence the patients proceeded via their immunity response to several days of extremely high fevers; in a great percentage of cases their cancers quickly disappeared,

Dr. Coley's therapy was called "Coley's Toxins" and was quite successful for decades - this type of "high temperature therapy" should be an option today, but the of course today's patients wouldn't bankrupt themselves with many months of extremely expesnsive chemotherapies. It is quite plausible that cancer cells can't survive such high body temperatures, whereas normal cells can.

cia parker

I would not get the shingles vaccine. It was a grave mistake to introduce the chickenpox vaccine, which has caused the explosion of shingles cases by taking out the virus that provided natural boosters. I had a friend who got shingles in 2012, who was in excruciating pain for a year from it. Last winter I got shingles three times, constant excruciating pain for several weeks each time, though not for a year. I took a lot of vitamin C which seemed to reduce the pain, but I had to keep taking it for weeks at a time. I have a Waldorf book which says that shingles kills about one hundred people a year in the UK, which surprised me, I still really don't understand how it could kill. I've looked in my books and on the Internet, but haven't been able to find a good treatment for shingles.

I've read that the old shingles vaccine was only 50% effective, and was associated with sometimes causing heart failure. Again, I wouldn't get it, but I can see why many people would want to get it. Shingles is very painful and lasts for a long time. I dread the approach of winter now. Two years ago I got shingles for the first time since 2002, like a large red burn mark that was extremely painful and lasted several weeks. Then three times last winter. I think it would be good for us to have alternatives to the vaccine to tell people about. I have hyper-cal homeopathic cream which seemed to help a little. My friend told me several times that her doctor wanted her to get the shingles vaccine, but she always said she hadn't gotten it, but she probably wouldn't tell me even if she had, knowing how I feel about vaccines.


Looks like they're repeating their 2004 flu shot marketing ploy: they're announcing "shortages" of the vaccine.

Marketing 101: get your target market interested by suggesting that they'd be lucky to get your product, because there aren't enough to go round...

People always want what they think they can't have.

Laura Hayes

The doctor advises this woman to “plan your day accordingly” in preparation for her next dose of Shingrix and the expected adverse reaction.

He should have said to “plan your life accordingly”, should she experience blindness, hearing loss, paralysis, stroke, encephalitis, heart attack, death, and more...all known side effects of Shingrix’s predecessor, Zostavax, for which there is now a class action lawsuit against Merck for the carnage left in the wake of Zostavax.

What will be the wake left behind the newer Shingrix vaccine, and will this woman choose to be part of it?


10% will get sicker than if they got shingles? 10% will get so sick that if they have an underlying cardiac or other illness that the inflammatory reaction from the vaccine could throw them into cardiac arrest or stoke? How about managing diabetes with that reaction? MADNESS!


"Why does taking Tylenol make the vax less effective?"


A fever is a critical part of the immune response, the effectiveness of certain immune cells is enhanced by a higher body temperature. So using Tylenol/Paracetamol to bring down the body temperature is suppressing the immune system, making it less likely to be able to fight off the pathogen and successfully create antibodies.

The knowledge about Tylenol making vaccines less effective has been around for many years, but it was only in recent years that the official recommendations about giving Tylenol after vaccination changed, the industry is reluctant to tell people not to use one of its products, so they dragged their heels with changing the advice.

Big Pharma see our immune system as their competition, so with any chance they get they attack/suppress it e.g. Tylenol, chemotherapy, antibiotics etc. They want us dependent on their products to treat symptoms, they don't want us having a fully functioning immune system which does a protective job for us free of charge. Hence why we are told that fevers are such a bad thing. They want us to believe that stopping the symptoms of our immune system doing it's job is more important than the task our immune system was attempting to perform.

Many people whose cancer disappeared overnight had just had a high fever which they didn't suppress. If cancer patients didn't have their white blood cells immediately decimated by chemo and if we weren't told to immediately suppress a fever, it could be that far more of them would experience cancer killing fevers, especially in those who have strong immune systems. It could also be that by society regularly suppressing immune systems, it makes cancers more likely to appear in the first place.

Grace Green

Pete, thanks for that. What is their idea of scientific fact if a list of ingredients can miss one of them out?


Why does taking Tylenol make the vax less effective?

Sophie Scholl

Posted by: Pete | August 13, 2018 at 06:52 AM Chinese Hamster Ovary

Absolutely incredible !

Sophie Scholl

Don't take the second vaccine !

Are you a complete idiot ? You must be to have taken the vaccine in the first instance !


Very good to see some real information on side effects being being provided by a doctor in the media, GSK might not be quite so pleased with his approach.

Speaking of honesty, Shingrix is the vaccine containing Chinese Hamster Ovary, the CDC admitted that until just recently, then removed it from the listed ingredients after it attracted too much attention from 'anti-vaxxers'.

Here's an archived page from the CDC website showing Chinese Hamster Ovary as an ingredient of Shingrix">">

The latest CDC version censors the Chinese Hamster Ovary ingredient

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