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.



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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