Shingles vaccination while on steroids
I am 78, tapering down on Prenisolone, currently 5mg. I have been offered a shingles vaccination by my GP. Is there any evidence of danger of interactions or adverse effects ?
Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) Support Group.
Hi @macferse, I've had the Zostavax shingles vaccine and a few years later the Shingrix vaccine but my PMR was in remission and I was not on steroids. I think it depends on which shingles vaccine you receive – live Zostavax or non-live Shingrix vaccine.
Here's some information from Mayo Clinic on the topic
"Talk to your health care provider about your vaccination options if you:
— Have ever had an allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin or any other component of the shingles vaccine
— Have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system
— Are receiving immune system-suppressing drugs or treatments, such as steroids, adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), etanercept (Enbrel), radiation or chemotherapy
— Have cancer that affects the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma
— Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant"
Shingles vaccine: Should I get it?:
Here's an article on possible adverse effects:
— Corticosteroids Contribute to Serious Adverse Events Following Live Attenuated Varicella Vaccination and Live Attenuated Zoster Vaccination: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33418856/
John, that's really helpful. I have an appointment to discuss it with my GP , so can point out the issues.
Actually, my rheumatologist advised me NOT to get any vaccines. He is concerned any would produce a flair in the PMR pain. I did not get a flu shot either! Makes me wear a mask when inside with others.
Rheumies really vary on this subject. I asked mine about getting vaccine for covid and flu and he was all for it. Thought I would make at least some immunity and be better than none. No discussion about adverse effects.