Shingles

About 4 weeks ago I got my first flu shot in about 28 years. My last flu shot was done during my final 6 months on Active Duty in the U.S. Military. Since then I’d decided not to get an annual flu shot, as I’d only experienced a couple of flus during my entire adult life. Of course this year COVID changed everything, and I decided to get a flu shot.

When I arrived at my local pharmacy for my free flu shot (actually they gave me $10 to get it) – the pharmacist asked me if I had received the Shingles vaccine. I had not, but as a 53-year-old watching all of those television commercials on the Shingles vaccine (some of them amusing) I had been contemplating it for a few years.

So before I got my free flu shot in my right arm I got my free Shingles (Shingrix) vaccine in my left arm. I walked out completely vaccinated-up. Surely there would be no side effects …

The listed side effects for the Shingles vaccine are as follows: “a sore arm with mild or moderate pain”, “redness and swelling at the site of the injection”, “tiredness, muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, and nausea”. (These side effects affect more than half of the people who receive the vaccine.)

The listed side effects for the Influenza vaccine are as follows: “soreness, redness, and swelling where shot is given, fever, muscle aches, and headache”.

So I got the double-shot of vaccines late on a Friday morning, and by that afternoon I got the sore arm with mild to moderate pain. No redness. No swelling. I got tired. I had muscle pain. I got a mild headache. By that night I was shivering. It was generally a sleepless night. (I never got the stomach pain or nausea.) The side effects continued all day on Saturday into Saturday night. I actually slept really good on Saturday night into Sunday morning. When I awoke all of the side effects had subsided, and in fact I was no longer shivering – but sweating. The sweating continued for a few hours, and then it too was gone. I had about 48 hours of side effects, and then I was back to normal.

I’ll take those side effects over getting Shingles over the next several decades or the flu this season. The Shingles vaccine is actually done in two doses. My 2ND dose will be in February.

All rights reserved (c) 2020 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

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