Can you take Shingrix if you have herpes? 

Can you take Shingrix if you have herpes? 

No, it is not suitable to get Shingrix while you have herpes symptoms. Shingrix is a vaccine that protects you from getting herpes and it has nothing to do with the treatment of this viral infection. 

Vaccines can never be used in place of medications, which is why it’s not appropriate to get a Shingrix shot while having the symptoms. You need to wait for the virus to run its course. 

Once your symptoms have subsided, it’s still not wise to get vaccinated right away as the additional immunity will not benefit your almost-gone infection. 

This is because your body has already built up immunity against the virus and it remains in your memory immune cells even after you have completely healed. 

During this time period, it’s highly unlikely for you to get infected again. Such a case has never been reported and probably never will because of how our bodies work and how viral strains multiply. 

This is why it’s best to reach out to your healthcare provider for a proper vaccination date to prevent the virus from coming back your way ever again. 

The best time to get vaccinated after your infection subsides could be patient-specific and people with weaker immune systems may need to get it done earlier than healthy individuals (1). This can only be decided by your doctor who has your full medical history. 

Safety Considerations for Shingrix Vaccine

When considering the safety of the Shingrix vaccine, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. 

First, it is generally recommended to inform your healthcare provider if you have any underlying medical conditions or if you are taking any medications. This helps ensure that the vaccine is appropriate for you.

Additionally, if you have a history of allergies or adverse reactions to vaccines- that some people have (2) – it’s important to discuss this with your healthcare provider. They can assess the risks and benefits and provide guidance based on your individual situation.

It is important to note there is a possibility of experiencing side effects after getting a Shingrix vaccine. 

The most common side effects of the vaccine include pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site, as well as mild flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and muscle pain (3,4). These side effects are generally temporary and subside on their own.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Herpes Zoster Shingrix Vaccine Recommendations. [updated 2021 Aug 6]. In: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [Internet]. Atlanta (GA). Available from:


Bell H, Kamal N, Wong U. Blistering autoimmune skin reaction following SHINGRIX vaccination in an ulcerative colitis patient: Case report and literature review. Vaccine. 2020 Nov 3;38(47):7455-7457. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.09.073. Epub 2020 Oct 13. PMID: 33067034.


Maltz F, Fidler B. Shingrix: A New Herpes Zoster Vaccine. P T. 2019 Jul;44(7):406-433. PMID: 31258310; PMCID: PMC6590925.


Shah RA, Limmer AL, Nwannunu CE, Patel RR, Mui UN, Tyring SK. Shingrix for Herpes Zoster: A Review. Skin Therapy Lett. 2019 Jul;24(4):5-7. PMID: 31339679.