I got my vaccine on a Friday, felt headachy and rundown all weekend. By Tuesday I was getting an outbreak. I hadn't had one in a pretty long time and I take acyclovir when I do. Coincidence or a side effect of the vaccine?
Can the shingles vaccine cause a genital herpes outbreak?
Question posted by artsyrsc on 13 Nov 2014
Last updated on 22 August 2022 (5 weeks ago) by ResaW
I have had oral Herpes for ages, but I was fastidious about not infecting my genitals and for decades thought I had succeeded.
After the 2nd shot of Shingrix I developed genital herpes (not warts as I'd hoped) :-/
These outbreaks are more common than they ever were on my mouth and I'm sad.
Not saying correlation means causation by any means, but I thought I should add this bit of anecdotal evidence for this question.
Absolutely! I've lived with herpes since the 1970's. Fortunately I learned early on to use lysine as a suppressant and it has worked well for me for years, about 1000 mg a day, increasing when I had an occasional outbreak. (Have you read the side effects of all those Rx meds for herpes?!) I've had very rare outbreaks, walnuts especially could cause one, but generally eating a healthy diet and getting enough rest, avoiding stress as much as possible, etc.all help. The crucial point to remember when you have herpes is that lysine and arginine need to be in balance in your body. Read about arginine benefits online. Nuts are high in arginine, as well as chocolate and a lot of other foods. So I got the second Shingrix shot (no problem with the first), and within a week I started getting herpes outbreaks which continued for about 8 weeks. Fortunately I found this site and it confirmed my suspicions -- the Shingrix caused it -- I have absolutely no doubt.
I increased my lysine to 3000 mg a day (occasionally 3500). I had to tip the scales in favor of lysine for a time. I've finally gotten rid of the herpes for 2 weeks and will try my last gradual decrease back from 1500 mg to 1000 this week. The other thing I discovered was that increasing my lysine affected my sexual response in a very negative way, which REALLY made me mad because I had just gotten back with an old lover and things had been going well. And when I read about arginine I knew that was the reason, because arginine increases blood flow to the genital area and enhances orgasm. I added a few cashews and some chocolate this week very carefully, while still taking 1500 mg of lysine, and guess what!? Back to my pre-Shingrix/normal lysine dose sexual responsiveness, by adding just a little arginine. Yay! Two very happy people here! :) The manufacturers of Shingrix don't tell us about the herpes side effects but they SHOULD. I was glad I found this site and wanted to share what I've learned with all. At first I thought it was me or a problem in the relationship and I was extremely depressed to think that I might be stuck where I was forever, but nope, just lysine to get rid of the horrible issues caused by Shingrix. Best wishes to all! Hope this helps. PS I would still have gotten the Shingrix because I don't want shingles, but I might have timed it better for my life and I would have known what to expect and how to deal with it.
I am 50, diagnosed with HSV2 thru blood work a few years ago, but never had an outbreak before. I got 2nd Shingrix a couple of weeks ago. Arm pain and body aches with fatigue for a couple of days…then a genital outbreak. I had no clue what it was since I’ve never had an outbreak before. Luckily it was small and minimal pain. Coincidence? I didn’t think so until I read here.
I wish I would have found this site earlier. It happened to me too. Had the 1st Shingrix vax on 12/29, now on 1/15 I have an outbreak right on the penis. I have immediately started taking Acyclovir 2x/day and noitfied my Physician. (waiting for a response) So very disappointed. This side-affect possibility should be shared with anyone considering Shingrix.
Something happened to me a herpes outbreak after the Shingles Vaccine. I Had not had outbreak in 15 yrs.
Just had my second Shingrix shot yesterday. I am a 67 year old female who developed genital herpes around age 35. I got tired of frequent recurrences and have been successfully taking 1 gm. of Valacyclovir daily for ages to suppress it. I was taking Zovirax twice daily before but have trouble remembering to take medications more than once a day on a regular basis.
Hearing about the pain a friend dealt with as he recovered from shingles prompted me to finally get the vaccine. Other people I know who had gotten the first one were now scheduling their Shingrix shots, so I figured that is the one I should get.
I had no issues with the first shot and so far none with the second. I don't usually react strongly to vaccines, though, anyway. The only one I remember having any trouble with was a recent pneumonia shot; I thought I might never move my arm again - but the next day it was back to normal.
If I have herpes trouble in the next several days, though, I will post an update.
Yes it can. I got my first dose of Shingrix and it has induced HSV symptoms that are ongoing for the last 2 months. and spreading. it's awful. Places I never had symptoms, now I have them. I took high dose valacyclovir for almost 6 weeks, but the symptoms continued to slowly spread and would burst out when I stopped or lowered my dose. Creatine helps a little but not enough to end this. Tomorrow I will buy lysine and see if that helps. Any other suggestions welcome.
for anyone reading this: if you get a strong vaccine (shingrix, corona), TAKE VALACYCLOVIR AT THE TIME YOU GET THE VACCINE, A HIGH DOSE LIKE 2 GM. and keep taking it for about 2 days. this should help block any reactivation. I wish I had known.
While Shingles/varicella and HSV are not the same virus, and while the Shingrix vaccine has no virus in it (it's just a protein), the vaccine can clearly induce both HSV and varicella. Perhaps it is the fever. or the adjuvant in the vaccine, but the effect is horrible and dramatic. The depressing thing is that Zostavax made from the oka virus is actually protective against HSV. But I thought I was doing this great thing getting the stronger Shingrix vaccine. Big mistake - now I'm in a herpes hell with no end in sight.
I had dose one of Shingrix one week ago. I have had two mild genital outbreaks in new areas on my penis. I had injection site pain for 2 days. I was fatigued and had headaches for 2 days. I had a bout of fatigue 5 days after the shot so severe I almost passed out while walking. I had another outbreak on penis 6 days after the vaccine. I was only having an outbreak about 1 time yearly prior to the vaccine. I’ve had HSV2 since 1984. I believe the outbreaks are most certainly related to the vaccine. I will probably pass on dose two.
My 28 year old cousin had the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine on 3/15/21 and 10 days later got a rash on his abdomen and back. He was diagnosed with shingles. I had my second Pfizer dose on 3/17 and now have a herpes outbreak. Mild but still painful. I am 68. Has anyone else had outbreaks after their Covid inoculation?
I am 67 and had the Zostavax vaccine 5+ years ago, before Shingrix came out. After over 25 years of dormancy, within weeks of the shot my herpes returned in the same spot on my bottom and every month. I took Valtrex for outbreaks, then daily for 6 months as prescribed by my dermatologist. They are less frequent now, maybe every 3-4 months, but 4 - 500mg Valtrex in 24 hrs at the first sign, clears it up.
So, for those thinking that the original vaccine “healed” the outbreaks, that was not my case. I also had a mild case of shingles in Aug 2020 on my hand (which they first diagnosed as COVID because I had a fever and thought the rash was eczema). Doctors always said the herpes outbreaks were not related to the vaccine but I was never convinced. Now that they are pushing me to have the Shingrix series and I have read this post, I am going to pass and pray my mild experience with shingles will be my last.
The virus that causes shingles and the virus that causes herpes are related viruses. They have 70 genes in common, so they are kind of like siblings. So, it is not at all surprising that when one is vaccinated against shingles, one acquires some immunity to herpes as well. However, this only appears to hold true with the older, Zostavax vaccine. The newer vaccine, Shingrex, appears to actually cause outbreaks of herpes, at least for a time. So, if anyone is considering being vaccinated against shingles, I would advise them to try to get the older, Zostavax vaccine. There is no hard and fast scientific data that says Zostavax will prevent outbreaks of herpes, both HSV1 and HSV2, but real life data points to the fact that it does.
I thought I answered yesterday, but it is nowhere to be found. If this is a duplicate, I will try and delete it.
My Whitlow was tested and found to be a type 1 herpes infection of the finger. I first got it as a child because I had oral cold sores and bit my nails to the quick - often until they bled. I have had random outbreaks on that same finger, up and down that same finger, for about 40 years.
I was once diagnosed with HSV2, but I don't get recurring outbreaks on that.
Just under 4 weeks ago, I got the Shingrix vaccine. This week, I have the most painful Whitlow outbreak I can recall having in a LONG time and to make things more confusing, it isn't on my finger. It is just below the web and crease where the finger meets the palm of the hand. What a terrible place to have it, because the radiated pain is no longer just the finger. It is the palm and adjoining fingers.
It freaked me out so I started doing Google searches hoping to see if this is related to the Shingrix vaccine.
I see in the comments that there isn't a reason to think the harder/relocated outbreak is related, other than my immunity being stressed by the vaccine. It doesn't make sense with what I am seeing and feeling, but I guess I have to accept that.
HOPEFULLY, the booster shot will have no such coincidences and HOPEFULLY I will be one of the lucky who stop having HSV1 outbreaks afterwards.
BTW: I am glad I got the vaccine. With my having been infected with two types of the herpes virus outbreaks in my life, I surely didn't need another.
I have definitely decided not to get the new Shingrix vaccine after all the posts I’ve read about so many getting herpes outbreaks right afterwards. I’ve been contemplating getting this vaccine for so long, but just can’t risk getting outbreaks of herpes. I’m someone who has had this dreaded virus since 1975 & I have had so many repeated outbreaks through the years I can’t begin to count them all. My outbreaks are always absolutely horrific too. Drs. always have said usually after the 1st initial outbreak they get less & less painful, less frequent etc., not so with me. I’m otherwise an extremely healthy person so not going to risk this for anything. I think this vaccine must somehow interfere with people who have Herpes Simplex 1 & 2.
I am 74 year old male. Had the chickenpox as a child and a few herpes sores in my teens, but never a cold sore in 60 years. Never a shingles outbreak. I had the original shingles vaccine Zostavax 9 years ago... no problems. In October 2019 went to Costco to get the first new Shingrix shot... no problems. In July 2020 I received the second Shingrix shot from Target. Felt real sluggish for two days then had a terrible outbreak of genital herpes. Have never had genital herpes before. Went to Urgent Care and am now on 1000 mg Valacyclovir. Both the Urgent Care Dr. and the pharmacist said probably not related. That is not what I think.
Have had HSV2 since 1968, now 75. Had outbreaks on and off until 10 years ago when I started Famvir. Zero bouts since. Would not get the first, live virus, vaccine. Very hesitant to get the new vaccine, but finally did in August 2019. Have had no reaction to the shot. However, after reading on this site... I WILL NOT GET THE SECOND SHOT.
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