Go and get the new shingles vaccine: it works

True, but she’d been trying to get our health coverage to cover it for several months prior to the outbreak. She was constantly told that she wasn’t in the age range for susceptibility.

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That really sucks. I would want to go to the person who said that and say, “I told you so!”


I thought I’d never had chickenpox, until in my mid-30’s I got what a doctor told me was zoster sine herpete - shingles without the rash. A small number of people just don’t get a rash from that virus, and apparently I was one of them.

Fast forward 10 years, and I’m having another outbreak of this, in the same place as always. Right side of my head feels like furrows have been clawed into my scalp and my right eye hurts like it’s on fire. In my head. My regular doctor is out, so I see another one who is, naturally, skeptical about this no-rash shingles. So I have her do a blood test for varicella antibodies and … it’s negative. I was right all along. I’d never had chickenpox despite multiple exposures (and twice as a preschool teacher, even!)

So now I’ve no idea what this shingles-esque pain I get in the same place every 6-10 months is.


Argh, I’m sorry, that sounds truly awful. I hope you figure it out soon. :crossed_fingers:


The set of people who get the virus is not the same as the set of people who get shingles.
95% of people get the varicella zoster virus during their lives.
Almost all of those are infected during childhood, and get Chicken Pox.
Chicken pox can be serious for infants or adults.
33% of people will develop shingles. The risk is greatest for those over 50. The later in life Chicken Pox is contracted or Shingles develops, the higher the likelihood of serious complications.


Thanks for mentioning this. When I asked about getting vaccinated, my physician told me that he was waiting for the killed virus vaccine since three of his patients got shingles shortly after receiving the other (live virus) vaccine. It was easy for me to make the decision to wait.


I also had shingles in my 30s. Unbelievable pain for a week.

There’s a vaccine for it now, so I’d hope not.

I had the pox when I was 12. Knocked me on my ass for 2 weeks. You better believe I’ll be getting a shingles vaccine as soon as I can.


There’s preliminary data showing that childhood expose to Zoster provides a stronger immune response than the two shots that are currently recommended. This seems to be leading to more people getting shingles at younger ages than historically. But, it’s just preliminary data, nothing strong enough to produce CDC guidance on the issue, but something to be aware of.

Given how bad shingles is and how likely one is to have it in ones lifetime, there is an arguement to be made for natural immune reponse to Zoster rather than a vaccine immune response. Maybe we’ll see either a change in recommendation on the Varacella front or on the shingles vaccine (wihchever one it is) front at more data becomes available.

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In the 70’s, totally. Because it’s an illness that’s much worse if you get it when you’re older. Somehow my brother managed to avoid it until he was 15 and it was very unpleasant. And apparently I never had it, and I can think of at least 4 times I was exposed - a birthday party (where I slept over in the infected kid’s room),my younger brother’s bout as a teen, and two full classes of preschool kids I was teaching, who came down with it in the early 90’s before the vaccine was common.


I had chicken pox as a toddler and shingles at 27. One of my coworkers who’d had chicken pox got shingles at 19. Whatever the reason, it wasn’t the chicken pox vaccine for us.

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