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Shingles Vaccine

I'm going to start Humira so I wanted to have the shingles jab before to try to ensure that I don't get shingles as some have on here. I'm in Saudi at the moment and the rheumatologist was agreeable. However, it turned out that they don't have it at the hospital where I go and so he suggested the MMR with Varicella (chicken pox vaccine). I'm just not sure, it sounds peculiar to give that when I've had chicken pox as a child, also mumps and measles. I've looked it up and the dose for the chicken pox vaccine is 19 times less than what would be in the shingles one. Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I will be seeing the rheumatologist on Wednesday and I'm going to ask if it is possible to get the shingles vaccine anywhere else here. Otherwise I don't think that I will have the MMRV. Also he said that I could start Humira 2 weeks after the vaccine but I've read differing advice - some say at least one month, maybe two! Clemmie

10 Replies

That's a hard choice you have there Clemmie, it's a shame they don't have the shingles vaccine there.

My thoughts for what they are worth is that most of us under 65's are not offered a shingles vaccine prior to our Humira so it can't be an extremely high incidence of shingles or I think it would be advised.

The mmr/ varicella vaccine is effective and safe but generally needs boosters so unsure why a one off would help but then again if the doc recommends it then I would be tempted to go ahead .

I did get shingles but it was when I was off my meds for three months and had had a spinal op so my defenses must have been down.

Do you have a specialist private vaccination clinic in your are? They would maybe be able to give you more advice, so you have a complicated issue there and I will be interested to see how you proceed.

Ps I loved Humira, felt much better but in my case the effects wore of to quickly, the pen is easy to use but whatever you do remember to takeout of the fridge a good half hour before you use it otherwise it hurts!!!

Hope this is " the one" you deserve it x


Thanks for your reply Allanah. I'm getting jittery about starting Humira, the longer it's taking to get to it! I'm not scared of injections, I was a nurse and I've given myself injections before, just concerned about the medication, as usual! But my hands are getting more and more stiff and painful as each day passes - although I am nowhere near as bad as many on here. I feel guilty about being able to have Humira when so many others can't. Mind you, I don't know yet whether my insurance will pay for it, so that may all be irrelevant! Still not sure what to do but will let you know. Clemmie X


Ah ! I believe nurses make the worst patients ha ha ha. We do tend to over think and research when it's us or our families do you agree.?

I remember I thought I had tumours when I worked on oncology and bone problems when I worked on ortho!! Lol

No honestly not meaning to laugh , of course , just you sound like me! I looked into getting yellow fever jab got travelling to do a safari, and wasn't allowed it due to it being a live virus and would still like a way around it so we can go on safari. Keep meaning to research whether there are safari areas where they don't have yellow fever and you don't need the vaccine.

but I did get a lot of relief on Humira and I really really hope the funding will come through! I think if your doc recommends it then they will pass it?

Let us know how you get in, will be interested and thinking of you xx

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I don't think you need a Yellow Fever jab in

Botswana...great place fir a trip. Kathy


Hahaha, my husband says that too! Yes we do tend to over research things! I hope that you get on your safari one day. Thanks for your kind words. Clemmie x

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Hugs xxxx


I had a blood test to find out if I had the right anti bodies & I didn't 't need the vaccine. Have you had that test?

Hope all goes well . Kathy


Hi Kathy, yes they did a blood test last week and I get the results tomorrow. Clemmie


Hello, I'm going to starting Humara in December, so in three months time. I'm currently on Methotrexate and Sulphasalazine. Before I can start the Biologics I must be updated on all my immunizations.

Yearly influenza shots are recommended as well.

I am getting the Shingles vaccine in a few days, in Canada it's not covered at will cost aprox 200.00

If you have had chicken pox you are immune to chicken pox, but you can still get shingles. The Zosta-Vaccine is recommended for adults 50 and over, and I'm told in Canada most get it when they are 60, as older folks are more at risk and it's apparently only protects 50% of the time and it becomes less effective over time which is why most wait until they are 60 years old. There is a great article in the New England journal of medicine about the statistics. They are recommending the vaccine for RA and Aides sufferers. I am only 45 but am getting the shingles vaccine as recommended by my Rheumy, once you start biologics you can not then get the vaccine, you need to get it prior to starting a biologic at this time.

Also two step TB test and two different pneumonia vaccines are need for myself, blood test to determine if my Twin-rix ( hepatitis A&B ) is still effective, as now they re comment boosters every 5 years.


Hi Hobbits, I am in Saudi Arabia and they do not have the Zostervax so I've decided to go ahead without it. I had the flu jab a week ago and if I decide to have the pneumonia one I can have it any time as it isn't a live vaccine. I had the TB test but didn't need HepA or B as had Hep A last year for a trip to India and I'm immune to Hep B. Had my first Humira injection yesterday in the end. Clemmie


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