Go and get the new shingles vaccine: it works

My younger brother (well under 50, as am I) recently got shingles. I wonder if his diagnosis will help me get the vaccine “early.”


Man, when suffering from “newborn baby stress”, I developed a fun little rash along a rib on my right side that was itchy and not so much fun. Didn’t really hurt, but wasn’t going away either. Showed my wife (also a veterinarian), and she said “That’s shingles”. I said “No way, it doesn’t really hurt, and I’m not even 40 yet”…

It was a little itchy and annoying for a couple of weeks until the singular day that it wasn’t. Hard to describe how it felt that day, but the closest I could do would be to say “imagine that someone had driven red hot nails into one of your ribs, and for some reason they weren’t cooling off”…

And the fun thing is that from what I hear, I lucked out. I suffered for a day. One buddy of mine had a persistent case that traveled up to a facial nerve, and decided to sit there for almost 6 months. He actually has some permanent nerve damage from that particularly bad bout.

So yeah, if you can get it, get the vaccine!


It’s specifically because you didn’t have chicken pox that you needed this. If you get Herpes Zoster as a child, you likely get Chicken Pox. If you get it as an adult, you get a large case of shingles. If you have Zoster as a child, you get an immunity to it for a number of years. If you don’t, you’re at risk for shingles as an adult more so than for those who had Chicken Pox.

You need this!


Really sounds like EDM bands/DJs to me.

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I do remember my dad getting it once. The problem was, we weren’t at home, we were at my grandparents house because my dad’s dad had just had a stroke and wasn’t long for this world. Oh, and this happened the week before christmas, so my folks had packed us three kids, and the dog, and the cats into a car and driven to the other end of the country.
So, there we were, having christmas in my grandparents house, when my dad got shingles. Of course, that meant all three of us kids all got chicken pox, oh, and my gran had Parkinsons and was confined to a wheelchair.
Somehow my mum held it all together, and this is one of the stories I tell about how awesome she is.
I don’t know anyone else who’s ever had shingles though .Do people in the US intentionally introduce their kids to people with chicken pox to get the infection out of the way?

Oh, and the first part of the NHS page on shingles reads:

The main symptom of shingles is pain,



My dad got shingles about thirty years ago; the rash broke out across one-half of his back on the Thursday before Easter, when we were going to fly to Canary Islands for an Easter holiday on Saturday. He was lucky that someone noticed it at a sauna he was going to (it was so fresh that there was neither itch nor pain yet), and managed to get first to a doctor, and then to a pharmacy, before everything was closed for Good Friday. Don’t recall what medication he got, this being mid-'80s, but it was effective enough and the family holiday was not ruined.


AKA the best kind of vaccine.

(Really an oversimplification, but not much of one!)

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I keep meaning to get this shot, but it would probably mean getting a physical and I’m afraid of the doctor’s glare as I fail my cholesterol test.

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Let’s see, which is more painful, shingles or a disappointed frown? Hmmm…


Study harder.


Interesting. It was described to me as something to prevent shingles outbreaks in people who already had chicken pox as a child. Not sure what my risk of encountering Herpes Zoster as an adult might be, though. I’ll have to find out if is somehow more likely than measles, mumps, and other childhood diseases.

Edit - here’s an article on the risks: Well - The New York Times

From the article: Between 75 - 90% of chickenpox cases occur in children under 10 years of age. Before the introduction of the vaccine, about 4 million cases of chickenpox were reported in the U.S. each year. Since a varicella vaccine became available in the U.S. in 1995, however, the incidence of disease and hospitalizations due to chickenpox has declined by nearly 90%…

…Anyone who has had chickenpox has risk for shingles later in life, which means that 90% of adults in the U.S. are at risk for shingles. Shingles occurs, however, in 10 - 20% of these adults over the course of their lives, so certain factors must exist to increase the risk for such outbreaks.

“… a new shingles vaccine called Shingrix has proven almost miraculously effective against the virus (which nearly every person who lives to 80 will suffer from) …”

Only about 1 in 3 adults are likely to get shingles in their lifetime (CDC - Shingles) That’s not a small number, but 33% is hardly “nearly every person”.

Something to do with…

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No thanks brother. I’ll lose my job if I catch the autism.


On top of that, I’d suggest one doesn’t want chicken pox as an adult, either. IIRC that’s how Mick Jones lost his teeth.

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And/or tell the doctor it’s genetic.

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I actually called my doctor to arrange for an appointment to catch up on vaccines. Despite being within office hours, the phone line said the office was closed.

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I had chicken pox for the first time at age 26. Take all of the descriptions of shingles, apply them to 100% of the skin surface, and add in a techno-beat migraine, and you’ve got adult-onset chicken pox. I laid in bed whimpering for 7 straight days. Only time in my life that I wanted to die. Good thing I couldn’t do anything about it.


Do you know how you were exposed to it?

While travelling to a friend’s wedding. Either in the airport or on the plane. :frowning: