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Should I get a Shingles Vaccine?

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Just wondering if there is in fact a shingles vaccine, and if so, should I get it? I had a mild case of chicken pox as a child, and two years ago, out of the blue, I got extremely ill with what I thought was a bad ear infection or flu, but come to find out, after suffering for two weeks, and finally went to the ER, they told me I had shingles in my ear! I had been misdiagnosed by two doctors as having an ear infection! But I actually had been suffering from shingles! I had sores in my ear (hence why I thought it was an ear problem), and on my upper scalp and one on my face. Luckily, the ER doctor said I caught it in time and it was a fairly mild case of shingles, so I wasn't scarred or anything. I had a terribly high fever and felt just awful. I actually think I felt worse with shingles than I did when I had the flu a few years earlier! The ER doc gave me Acyclovir which made me feel much better. After being on it a few days, I felt fine again, although still pretty tired.

It was a bad experience, and took me a few weeks to recover. I still can't believe those idiot doctors didn't know the sores in my ear were actually shingles. Maybe because at that time the sores hadn't yet spread to my face or scalp, but seems like they should have considered the possibility. What I'm wondering is, can I get shingles again? Or once you get it, that's it? If I can get it again, should I ask for a vaccine, if there is one? My viral load is undetectable, but it was when I got shingles so I don't think my immune system had anything to do with me getting it before.

There is a shingles vaccine.  I think I have read it offers about 50% protection.  And, I have read over at The Body (shhh) that the docs think it is perfectly safe for poz folks. 

We were out bowling over the weekend with family and friends for my partners's bday.  We were doing all the high fives.  Then, we learned his brother has an active case of shingles.  Obviously, he has a very mild case to feel up to bowling.  He pulled up his shirt to show the sores.  Of course, I had to immediately google a refresher to remind myself whether it is contagious or not. 

The info was as I thought.  There was some conflicting info.  Most sites said that it is not contagious, unless you've never had chicken pox.  In that case, you would get the chicken pox and not shingles.  But, some sites said people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women should be careful, especially if sores haven't stabbed over. 

Anyway, there is a vaccine. 


--- Quote from: RobbyR on January 28, 2013, 07:47:15 PM ---
What I'm wondering is, can I get shingles again?

--- End quote ---

Yes, you can get it again. (And again, and again, and again.)

I talked to my doctor about getting the vaccine, although his comment was that it was only recommended (and insurance would only cover it) for those over 60 years of age.  He did say I could pay cash ($200) for it.

While I haven't had shingles yet, by what I have read I really don't want to get them either - so I think I am going to pay the $200 and get the vaccine.

Also - I find some contradictory info on whether pozies should get it.  My doc is more than willing to give it to me, although the CDC indicates that anyone with a compromised immune system shouldn't.

I asked my ID doc and he said no vaccine for me.
I also have read conflicting stories and would NOT like to experience shingles.
Is it that the likelyhood of getting shingles from the vaccine is far greater for us poz folks?
Am tempted to take the risk if the odds good.


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