Shingles: Is there a connection between the condition and Covid vaccines?

The UK is currently leading a rapid booster campaign, with more than 36 million extra jabs already given out. The number of double-vaxxed people is also high, making the UK one of the countries with the highest jab uptake. But is there a connection between shingles and Covid vaccines?

Possibly the worst aspect of shingles is the pain associated with the infection.

The Mayo Clinic reports that the condition isn’t life threatening but can be uncomfortable.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus.

The same virus also causes chickenpox. Once you battle the contagious disease, the virus stays inactive in your nerve tissue.

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But years later, it may come back and strike as shingles, the Mayo Clinic explains.

When it comes to its link with Covid, some people who received their vaccine also reported getting shingles later on.

However, the exact cause wasn’t determined.

Now, a study looks at the connection between the two.


Published in The International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the research looked at two adults who developed shingles after getting jabbed.

The first case was a 29-year-old woman who had chicken pox three times as a child and once as an adult.

She developed what is “clinically diagnosed” as shingles after her first dose.

The second case was a 34-year-old man who also had chicken pox as a child. Similarly to the woman, he tested positive for the virus triggering shingles after his first dose.

The study also notes that in total more than 6,000 cases of shingles were reported following the vaccination at the time.

However, when you look at the total number of vaccines given, the number of shingle cases associated with the jab accounts for around one percent, or even less.

Some people also reported experiencing shingles together with Covid infection so the researchers concluded there is a “possible relationship”.

They shared further: “The occurrence of HZ [shingles] after vaccination could be a simple coincidence.

“However, recent reports have described similar cases, mostly involving known risk factors for HZ [shingles] reactivation.

“In the context of vaccinating older and/or immunocompromised adults, our observations require further evaluation of the possible relationship between COVID-19 and herpes zoster.”

Based on this report, more research is needed to establish a firm link between the jab and the infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all of the Covid vaccines remain a safe choice.



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