Should You Get the Shingles Vaccine?

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

 

Do you wonder whether you or someone you love should get the Shingles vaccine? In this video, I explain why there is a big push lately to get the Shingles vaccine – and vaccines in general.  I tell you, in detail, how vaccines work – and don’t work – and give you a reality check so you can make an informed decision as to whether or not this vaccine is right for you.  

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

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  1. Neil Miller
    4 days ago

    There is an epidemic of shingles mainly in elderly people who contracted chickenpox as children because the chickenpox vaccine (introduced in 1995) reduced cases of chickenpox in vaccinated children. This inhibited circulation of the varicella (chickenpox) virus throughout society. But when you contract chickenpox as a child, shingles is kept from manifesting in adulthood through periodic re-exposure to the circulating virus. Thus, the “success” of the chickenpox vaccine is responsible for the current epidemic of shingles, a more severe ailment. This is documented in several studies. (See Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies for more information.)

  2. Lisa M.
    4 days ago

    Thank you. My daughter was diagnosed with shingles when she was 4 years old! (She was under stress as her sister had been recently hospitalized.) She had never had wild chicken pox but HAD been vaccinated for chicken pox as a one year old. The dermatologist we saw for the shingles commented that he was seeing a lot more shingles in “little kids” since the chicken pox vaccine came on the market.

    I found out later that one reason for this is that exposure to wild chicken pox in the community acts a natural booster, thus helping to prevent shingles in adults (and children). With less circulating wild chicken pox, thanks to the widespread use of the chicken pox vaccine, we have lost that booster effect, and we are all more vulnerable to shingles. So, one natural strategy for avoiding shingles might be to actively seek out children with chicken pox. And, the moral of the story is that we should all be careful about vaccines, especially for a disease as benign as chicken pox, as there are always going to be unintended consequences.

  3. ejred9
    6 days ago

    I agree wholeheartedly that natural immunity is much more complete than the immunity developed as the result of a vaccination. But I am not following how you are saying that there is an increase in the development of shingles because of the use of a vaccination promoted immunity as it typically does not occur until the age of 50. And people in their 50’s did not have a chickenpox vaccine. They actually contracted chickenpox and therefore developed the true immunity. The chickenpox vaccine did not come out until 1984.

  4. Carol Plummer
    1 week ago

    I had the vaccine as soon as it came out ( had nursed older relatives when they had shingles–awful). Between the immunization and anti-virals, I had a not too bad case. I have the vaccine again even if I still had an episode. My suffering was minimal-relatively

    1. Carol Plummer
      1 week ago

      Sorry. I intended to say “I would have…” the vaccine again even though it didn’t protect entirely

  5. Kris
    1 week ago

    This is great information in a short amount of time. Thank you for speaking with such eloquence!

  6. Ingrid Roeder
    1 week ago

    I had it twice within a year and a half due to stress. I’m seeing it in people… Women… In their 20’s and 30′ s. It’s not just older people. It’s women trying to be super women.

  7. Guy Chapman
    1 week ago

    Why are you concerned about aluminium as an adjuvant in a vaccine that does not have aluminium as an adjuvant? I mean, there is zero evidence that aluminium adjuvants are harmful in any way, but the chances of being harmed by somethign that’s not even in the vaccine seem pretty slim to me.

  8. SHARON JONES
    1 week ago

    I had a severe case of chickenpox as a child in the 1950’s and yet I still had shingles 25 years ago. I didnt have a lot of spots but I did have the worst pain I had ever experienced. My dr prescribed some tablets dont remember what they were called took two a day for seven days and then I was alright the pain and the spots were gone.
    If the vaccine had been available then I wouldnt have had it and I wont have it now. Every year my GP mentions the shingles vaccine and every year I say no thank you.

  9. Brenda
    1 week ago

    Thank you It’s so important that we can make this information public and especially coming from the most trusted and respected lady I know.
    Kind regards

  10. Fast cure of shingles with acupuncture. NO vaccine gives immunity and ALL carry harm.

  11. Lisa
    1 week ago

    Great explanation but I would NEVER get this or any other vaccine. My mother was recommended the shingles vaccine AFTER she had shingles and she started having heart palpitations. She then was recommended a “procedure” to correct it and is now on blood pressure medication to help manage it all. Looking back, we know now all her problems stemmed from getting the vaccine. They are creating customers with all this medication and medical interventions. Vaccines are full of neurotoxins that are bodies cannot detox and lead to other problems such as auto immune, Alzheimer’s, and more. And look at our poor children… they are being diagnosed with behavioral problems, ADHD, cancers and autism at an exponential rate. We must focus on natural immunity and nutrition to keep our bodies well.

    1. Lisa
      1 week ago

      I would try Sovereign Silver to heal shingles naturally. It kills any virus.

  12. Cindy Ray
    1 week ago

    Thank you, Dr. Northrup.

  13. Sandi
    1 week ago

    With respect to a health professional that I admire, I would suggest giving the shingles vaccine a good deal of consideration. There was nothing to indicate that my immune system was weak. I hadn’t been around any children or anyone that was sick. I was looking forward to the holidays and an upcoming birthday. But on December 12th, I woke up with a terrible headache. I rarely get a headache. The next day, I had a rash on my chin. I made an appointment with my doctor because the headache was getting worse. My diagnosis was shingles. I didn’t even feel sick. I was placed on an antiviral for 5 days. The rash didn’t itch, but the pain from the top of my head to my ear to my cheekbone to my chin was difficult. Within a few days, the rash was gone, but PNP (post neuralgia pain) was on the entire left side and also my lower and upper teeth. It took months before the PNP began to decrease. I feel grateful because for many people, PNP is lifetime. Check the shingles blogs. If my doctor had suggested the shingles vaccine, I probably would have ignored. I am basically healthy, physically active and wouldn’t have had any thought about getting shingles. But as soon as I am able, I will have the shingles vaccine as I am aware of people that have had shingles more than once. It is not an experience that I wish to have again. Not everyone can take the shingles vaccine as it is a live vaccine. The shingles vaccine gives approximately 50% protection, but will decrease the chance of PNP. Anyone that has had shingles would probably suggest looking into the shingles vaccine because it is not like the flu. It is a very painful virus. By the way, I did not request any of the medications that are often offered for nerve pain. I used all natural remedies. Thank you for reading.

    1. Neil Miller
      3 days ago

      Adults who had chickenpox as children are highly susceptible to shingles because they are no longer exposed to children with chickenpox. Shingles does not occur when immunity is boosted by re-exposure to the varicella (chickenpox) virus. The company that created the chickenpox vaccine is responsible for epidemics of shingles and now this same company created a shingles vaccine to solve a problem they caused. The shingles vaccine is not very effective and is responsible for numerous well-documented adverse reactions.

  14. Mary Margaret
    1 week ago

    I am so grateful for this information. Thank you Dr. Northrup!

  15. Mary
    1 week ago

    Interesting, but I see lots of shingles in people of older age and the chickenpox vaccine wasn’t even available when they were young. So, by the line of reasoning being said, these people probably shouldn’t be getting shingles.

    I took the Sabin polio vaccine, it was on a sugar cube, not an injection-just curious if it could have been more effective because it wasn’t injected into a muscle.

    1. Donna
      1 week ago

      The increase in shingles in older people is die to lack of exposure to the chicken pox virus in our environment. When a person like you or I who had a naturally occurring case of chicken pox as children is exposed to the virus again as adults, it’s like getting a booster shot! It refreshes our immune system defenses against it and helps to keep it suppressed in our bodies.

    2. Barbara
      1 week ago

      Mary, the reason you see lots of shingles now is because in the past older people were re-exposed to chickenpox when their kids and grandkids got sick, which acted like a booster. Now, older people are not getting exposed to chickenpox so they’re not getting the booster to their immune system. Therefore, the chickenpox vaccine has let to this huge uptick in shingles cases. Also, many people don’t know that you can get the shingles from the shingles vaccine (read the insert).

    3. Linda
      1 week ago

      Just a note related to older people getting shingles and your comment about the chicken pox vaccine not being around then. You are correct. The thing is that once you get chicken pox, you have that virus (the varicella virus which is the same virus that can cause shingles) in your body. Many doctors think that there has been a sharp increase in shingles in adults as a result of the chicken pox vaccine because adults are not being exposed to kids with chicken pox any more. When adults were exposed periodically to the varicella virus (when their kids would naturally get the essentially benign childhood disease) their immune system would get a sort of homeopathic dose of the virus that would actually protect them from getting shingles. Because it’s so rare to get exposed to the virus now, shingles is more prevalent. The chicken pox vaccine contains a live virus, so kids who receive it are also at risk of later developing shingles.

    4. Mary
      1 week ago

      re: Mary, Older folks are getting shingles more, and in fact younger folks as well, primarily because they are no longer being exposed to chicken pox, which would re-boot their immune response. This is a known and expected result of mass vaccination for chicken pox, which is why many countries do not vaccinate all children for chicken pox.

    5. Kristine Nicholas
      1 week ago

      Shingles is caused by the chicken pox. Once you’ve had chicken pox, the virus actually continues to live in your body the rest of your life. Re-exposure to the virus in infected children keeps the virus dormant, preventing shingles. Now that we vaccinate child for chicken pox, those of us who had the virus naturally are no longer exposed to it, so we get flares of shingles. The best way to avoid shingles is through exposure to children with chicken pox.

      As for your polio question, the Sabin vaccines was a live virus vaccine, whereas the injected vaccine is killed. While live vaccines tend to be more effective, they have much higher incidences of adverse reactions (including inducing the very vaccine they were designed to prevent!) and they shed, exposing others to that virus.

    6. Stephen H. Li
      1 week ago

      As long as anyone has contracted the chicken pox virus, disregarding vaccine, shingles is always possible in the future.

      More and more adults are suffering from shingles because their iummune system is weakened to the point where there is no more strength to keep the herpes zoster virus in check.

      Unvaccinated or vaccinated, it is still important to keep one self healthy and strong.

      Vaccinations may provide temporary protection, but also provide false sense of security.

    7. Kris
      1 week ago

      Explained well by Dr. Andrew Wakefield: What would happen historically,with natural herd immunity, there would be epidemics of chicken pox every 2-3 years that re-exposed adults to chicken pox from their children, grandchildren, children at school, etc., and that boosted their immunity. So there was an episodic, natural boosting of immunity, which kept the virus under control and prevented shingles from emerging. But now that we’ve vaccinated, we have taken away that episodic boosting of immunity because we don’t see epidemics of chickenpox anymore, and we have a major, major problem with shingles. We are seeing it not just in adults, but in children as well, which is most alarming. There never were shingles in children before the last several years. We have destroyed the natural herd immunity.

    8. Linda
      1 week ago

      Mary, I watched the 10 hour documentary The Truth About Vaccines and it explained this in more detail about Shingles/Chicken Pox. The idea is this: When you have chicken pox you now have some nice built in immunity to chicken pox– as well as shingles. And AS YOU AGE, ideally (like the olden days) you are exposed to children getting chicken pox for decades. You don’t even know them all; at the grocery store, in your neighborhood, your family etc… Every time you are exposed to these youngsters you are getting a little ‘boost’ of immunity that will protect you not only from chicken pox but shingles. However the older population is no longer exposed to any one with REAL chicken pox. All the children have been vaccinated! So, there is more of a possibility of the shingles virus becoming active when you age– especially if your immune system has some weaknesses. (environmental, food pesticides, stress…) I’m recapping hours of video but this is the general idea and I believe it may have some merit. As always, use this information if it speaks to you or discard. Namaste, Linda

    9. researcher
      1 week ago

      @Mary, the reason older people are getting shingles now is because they are no longer exposed to children with chicken pox.

      You see, once you’ve had chicken pox, the virus never leaves your system. It goes dormant into one of your spinal nerves. Periodic re-exposure to children with chicken pox helps “remind” your immune system to keep making antibodies to keep the virus dormant. Without that periodic re-exposre, the virus can re-activate as shingles.

      Unfortunately, after the chicken pox vaccine was introduced, the shingles rate in the elderly drastically increased a few years later.

      Also, the shingles rate in teens and young adults has also skyrocketed, primarily in those who were vaccinated for chicken pox.

    10. Barbara Vernes
      1 week ago

      It’s because of all the children getting vaccinated, and not getting chicken pox. Older persons used to regularly run across wild chicken pox in the children’s population, which was like being re-immunized as the immune system was frequently re-tested.

    11. Tammie
      6 days ago

      The connection is that because the wild chicken pox virus has been suppressed in the population (by vaccination), older people who had chicken pox when they were children, are no longer exposed to the wild virus. When children still got natural chicken pox, this acted as a “booster” in the population to others who’d already had chicken pox. Those “boosters” are no longer available to us. As a natural physician, I rejoice when one of my young patients has chicken pox… and recommend they bring back the “chicken pox parties” of old.

    12. Christy
      5 days ago

      The way I understand it is that adults who had chicken pox as a child have natural immunity and basically get a “booster” when they are exposed to children with chicken pox. That helps suppress shingles. However, the chicken pox vaccine that came out in the ’90s has been so effective in reducing CP outbreaks that adults are not being exposed and getting a natural “booster”. This is resulting in an increase in shingles in older adults, as well as younger people.

  16. Sandra Brooks
    1 week ago

    I awoke this last Christmas morning with Shingles and almost 5 months later I am just now beginning to get my energy back. I am 62 years old and did not get the vaccine. I believe my Shingles outbreak was due to stress. I am actively working on getting fitter and stronger both physically and mentally. My doctor is recommending that I get the Shingles vaccine to prevent a repeat occurrence. I certainly do not want to go through that horrible and painful experience again, but I am also reluctant to inject this vaccine along with the aluminum into my body (my same reasons for not getting the vaccine in the first place). I am not sure what to do.

    1. Luana
      1 week ago

      Same thing happened to me. Then came the post Shingles neuralgia, which is very painful. So, I asked my doctor to give me B12 injections. Pain gone. It took a few days to work. B12 heals your nerves. B12 is only properly absorbed through an injection. So far I have had three injections over the past 4 months. If the pain returns, I’ll have another. My doctor was very interested in how the B12 worked on me and said it made sense, as B12 directly affects our nerves.

    2. Kathy Burnes
      1 week ago

      Lysine if taken at the on set of any herpes virus will greatly lesson the outbreak.

    3. Mary
      1 week ago

      Try to find someone with chicken pox or shingles to re-expose yourself. That will be at least as effective as a shingles vaccine, with injection and no side effects.

    4. Tammie
      6 days ago

      Consider seeing a homeopathic physician and using homeoprophylaxis for Shingles. This is completely safe and it works! You can google how successful homeoprophylaxis was in Cuba recently. In fact, vaccinations are based in the homeopathic “law of similars” where you can heal disease with a diluted dose of a similar disease or you can prevent one with a diluted dose of the disease. Unfortunately the medical system took this idea and added unprincipled applications such as using live diseases, injecting into the body, and adding harmful ingredients.
      Additionally your homeopathic physician can help you to recover from your recent shingles event. Good luck!

    5. Liz deshano
      5 days ago

      Hello ! I too had a singles outbreak . I was in my forties at the time. I was also under a lot of stress and it took me several weeks to get better. I actually had an outbreak around my right eye. I was also encouraged after that to get the vaccine. I did some research and was interested to find out that if you take the amino acid lysine it will prevent future breakouts and lessen the pain. I don’t know why doctors don’t recommend taking that versus getting the vaccine ! I haven’t had a breakout since , but I make sure to take vitamins and rest when feeling stressed out. But if I do get that tingling around my eye I make sure to start taking 500mg if lysine !

  17. Sharon Gavitt
    2 weeks ago

    Thank you for sharing this information about vaccines. I love how you encourage us to trust our bodies. You provide support to what I believe but don’t have support from other arenas. Love, love,
    Love your advice,
    Sharon

  18. Sarah Bell
    2 weeks ago

    I have followed Dr Chrisgtiane Northrup for 20 years. And love all the love &
    information you have had to offer.However, I have purchased many of your books
    and recommended you as the leading physician on womens health. However,
    I am unhappy with all the media coverage & in order to receive additional
    health news, there is a new video to purchase every day when I open my e-mail.
    Who can afford all these videos daily? I thank you in advance, but wish you could get
    back to basics & being more altruistic instead of veering toward the monetary value daily.
    Sincerely,
    One of your biggest fans
    Victoria Sarah Bell
    E-mail : DanceWSarah@aol.com
    914-874-4541

  19. Love your new book. Making Life Easy!
    I keep saying we make our lives too complicated and now I have a doctor backing me up. I recently gave your book to a new client and I will make it a routine to give to all my female clients. Life can be Easy if we just let go and give it up to our maker because in the end, she is the one that knows our journey. Blessed you for all you do for all!

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