Shingles Vaccine : My Rheumatologist has recommended... - NRAS

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Shingles Vaccine

My Rheumatologist has recommended that I get a shingles vaccination before starting biologics. Anyone else under 50 and received vaccine?

Any adverse events? I’ve read mixed reviews since no studies have been conducted on safety of vaccine in patients with autoimmune disease.

I am getting it tomorrow but just curious if anyone has any experiences or information?

Thanks

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I am not under fifty, and was not when I got the shingles shot in WV, USA. I got it as a precaution as it was 99% certain without diagnosis yet, that I had RA.

In the UK, people who are in certain groups should get it, and flu jab and pneumocox. This includes us, people with RA/RD.

If you get shingles later, having had the vaccination, it is supposed to be less bad and last a shorter time.

Going on biologics/biosimilar, makes us far more vulnerable to everything,

So I was glad I got mine but it is your decision. It does have to be before you start as shingles vaccine is a live, though weakened, vaccine.

GPs should be quick to arrange this if you decide to go for all of those.

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Once you are on Biologics you can’t have any live vaccine .....& unless your rheumatologist writes to your GP you might have difficulty in getting it as there is a lengthy ongoing study on this vaccine & only people of a very specific age ..over 70......can get it.

I’m on a Biologic & was offered it by my GP practice.....There was a note attached asking me to sign if I refused it....I had to make a telephone appointment to explain I wasn’t refusing on a whim, & explained that being on a Biologics I couldn’t have a live vaccine ......I still don’t think they believed me!

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Thanks. Yes. My Rheumatologist is requesting that I get it before I start biologics. The pharmacist as much as refused to administer because of having RA and because I’m only 40.

My Rheumatologist wants me to get it because I will be immune compromised once on biologics.

So far I’ve had all my vaccinations brought up to date except shingles and flu vaccine.

But with shingles I’m not sure what to do. Neither do I want to get shingles.

Thanks for replies. It gives me more info to go on. ☺️

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Getting the shingles vaccine was never mentioned to me before starting biologics. I am 60.

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I started with RA at age of 48 and was never offered the vaccine

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I had the shingles vaccine before starting biologics but had to fight to get it on NHS even although I was only just too young.

No side effects that I have noticed and feel happy to .have had it as I have had shingles once and it isn't nice.

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I am on biologic and wasnt advised to have this. Unfortunately I got shingles and had to stop biologic for few weeks.Annoying to think this could of helped me prevent this.had the flu and pneumonia one

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The difference in practice across the NHS is very noticeable when you come to a website like this.

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Most definitely

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I’m on Rtx & got Shingles. As Rtx is a 6 monthly infusion you can’t actually stop it. I got the antivirals within 24 hours of noticing the rash but I was absolutely fine .......so don’t worry if you can’t get it.

If you are the wrong age you often can’t get a Shingles vaccine....even if your rheumy advises it.

As I think I replied to somebody else....for at least the last 10/15 years there has been an ongoing study looking at what age the shingles vaccine should stop being offered. At the moment it is offered up to 80 as more elderly people get Shingles....but research seems to be proving that it probably doesn’t work after you are 70...& it doesn’t seem to be very successful whatever age you are!

In 2019 only people who reach 78 this year are being offered it.

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I am on Abatacept. Got genital shingles and was given the anti viral but made me so ill so had to stop it.had to stop the Abatacept for couple of weeks also as it would slow my recovery due to it lowering immune system .I know you can get it again too..still suffering partly with it and that was months ago.my sister is 70 and just received hers.

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Were you given anti biotics with the antivirals, the GP I saw said they were advisable as I was on Rtx?

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No they didn't.probably would of recovered faster if they had.

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Altho I got the antibiotics...the GP I saw didn't tell me I should stop Statins whilst taking the antivirals...luckily I got the scrip filled at my usual pharmacy....& that pharmacist spotted the error.

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As long as it’s not the live virus, I hear it’s good. But, so far, I myself have refused it. Good luck with the new meds.

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The Shingles vaccine is a live virus.

There is a non live vaccine called Shingrix which NICE are reviewing, but I don’t think it is available in the NHS yet.

It is available Privately here...but anyone thinking of having it should definitely discuss it with their personal medical team beforehand.

I Looked on the US DA site to see what it said about having Shingrix when on biologics and when it came to Rituximab the answer was “the jury is still out” so I wouldn’t consider having it.

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GET THE VACINE, sod the side effects I have Shingles at the moment its been 8 weeks so far of agony with weekly visits to GP . The Anti Virals only reduce the severity of the virus but don't always work. I've been in hospital twice and it is so painful one well regarded medication is not available in the UK until at least December so if you can get the vacine go for it providing your GP agrees.

I'd add its not just the Shingles but the post hepatic nephritus which is dreadful I can't even bear the sheet on my leg at night. I hope you know that the risk of complications of the virus is much worse than the risk of complications with the vacine. My experience of the pain is only controlled by damping down with Pregabalin and even then it breaks through so codeine and paracetamol is also used in large amounts. I got Shingles before I could get the new medication so I'd suggest you talk to your GP and get the vacine asap. xx

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It is possible to get shingles from the live vaccine.

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Yes but its mild which is like the flu vacine and most of the others. I'm just glad that as we travelled I'm up to date with everything else as Shingles is bad enough and I really don't fancy Tetanus or Hepatitus A or B etc !

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My GP advised me to get the Shingles vaccine because I am on a biologic, and my immune system is compromised by psoriatic arthritis. My pharmacist was cautious of giving it to me. So she called and spoke to my rheumatologist and she said that it was fine to receive the vaccine. The pharmacist said that it is a new improved vaccine and not considered live anymore. I am 57, I haven't gotten it yet, but am planning on it soon.

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Apparently there is a non live shingles vaccine. But it is only available privately in the UK atm or so I was told by my rheumy. I refused to have the vaccine because I’m severely immune compromised and I didn’t want to take the risk. I also have a bad reaction to flu vaccine every time I have one so don’t have that either. I think the flu one has a bad reaction for me because I’m allergic to eggs and they won’t give me the ‘egg free’ one. It’s up to you but if I wasn’t immune compromised I would have it if it was ok for me to do so.

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Shingrix is the dead virus version. Which is given in 2 doses. First dose I had no reaction. Second dose the next day I had fever, chills, injection site soreness and redness. My doctor said this is very rare. I’m 45 and have had the shingles. One day of fever was nothing compared to the shingles plus don’t we have enough pain with RA.

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There is a new shingrix vaccine which is not a live vaccine. And it is almost twice as effective. It is two injections 6-12 months apart. I had to be in a waiting list a couple of times to get each but received my second last week. Yes, I had side effects. Very sore tired and unwell. arm for about 4 days and felt generally. It is especially important when in biologics because you are more apt to get shingles because of changes in immune system. And if you have ever talked with anyone who has had them they can be miserable for weeks.

So see if you can get this non live vaccine. You can start your bioligics at same time.

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cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingl...

Try this link for all info on shingrix vaccine

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Thanks everyone. I plan to talk further with my doctor today.

I called up the nurse and she has informed me that it is administered in 2 doses. That I cannot be on biologics and that the second dose is 2-6 months from now which means going off biologics just as they are starting to work.

I’m quite confused. My Rheumatologist says go ahead and everyone else is saying don’t get it.

At least I now have some more information to help me make a decision.

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Hi last winter told by GP not to have Shingles jab. I am over 70 plus also have PN and RA. The GP didn't really explain why. Off to see the doc for answer. Also had Retuxamab. Thanks for the question. Food for thought🤔

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