A few months back, the day before I had a big trip to Boston planned, I got the first dose of the Shingrix shingles vaccine (you get it in two doses 2-6 months apart). About 16 hours after the shot, I was hit by flu-like symptoms that I believe were a reaction to the vaccine. I was a little bit upset with my doctor’s office as a result, because when I’d shared with them that I’d be flying the next day, I was told that less than 1% of people who get the shingles vaccine experience the sort of reaction that I ended up having.
But I’m not so sure about that <1% figure. When I posted about my experience on my personal Facebook page, tons of people commented saying that either they’d had a similar reaction themselves or they knew someone who had. Meanwhile, the CDC says that “you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots” that “may affect your ability to do normal daily activities for 2 to 3 days.”
Don’t get me wrong: A reaction like mine is way, way better than shingles (I had shingles in 2015; here’s my post on it). The symptoms didn’t even end up lasting that long. I just wish I’d known that there was a chance of having a reaction before I went into the doctor’s office the day before I had to fly and be crisp. Instead, I could have gotten the vaccine when I had nothing planned the next day. In the end, I missed out on seeing all my friends, making new ones and networking at the second-annual TravelCon in Boston.
I have to go back for the second dose in a few weeks. This time I’ll plan better!
More on shingles vaccine side effects from the CDC
From the CDC page’s section on the side effects of Shingrix:
“Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. About 1 out of 6 people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days. Side effects were more common in younger people.
“You might have a reaction to the first or second dose of Shingrix, or both doses. If you experience side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.”
More travel health
- The CDC’s Travelers’ Health Page Is a Must-Visit Before Any International Trip
- How to Track Illnesses and Health Risks via Real Doctor’s Reports
Have your own tip? Email it to email@example.com!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 1,565!
Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Enter your email address and check “Daily Travel Tip” to receive Johnny’s best tips in your inbox each day!
If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check “Daily Travel Tip” on the same page. You’ll receive an email with a link to update your JohnnyJet.com preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.