Is Shingles Vaccination Really ‘Safe’?

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Filed Under: Useless Medicine
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

Is Shingles Vaccination Really ‘Safe’?

I found it hard to keep my blood from boiling over when I just read a new study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine that declares that shingles vaccination is “safe.”

The findings were from a Vaccine Safety Datalink study of 193,083 adults, which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organizations, including insurance company Kaiser Permanente.

The researchers concluded that there was only a “small increased risk of local reaction” one to seven days after people get the shot—including redness and pain. But the researchers determined there was no increased risk of meningitis, cerebrovascular disease, cardiovascular disease, encephalopathy, Bell’s palsy or Ramsay-Hunt syndrome.

First off, why is the CDC only now studying the safety of shingles vaccination—well after hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people are already receiving it at their recommendation?

In fact, the lead researcher on the study, Hung Fu Tseng, PhD, MPH, of Kaiser Permanente is quoted as saying, “It's good to know there is no serious adverse reaction to the zoster [shingles] vaccine. The study supports the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendation and reassures the general public that the vaccine is safe."

Now, what would they have said if they found that shingles vaccination wasn’t safe—especially since the CDC has already recommended it to everyone older than 60? Plus, the FDA also approved the shingles shot for people in their 50s. Yet, they’re just now determining that it’s OK to get?

Many Unknowns with Shingles Vaccination

The other problem is that no one has proven that shingles vaccination is even necessary. No one knows if it helps to ward off repeat outbreaks and, like most vaccines, the benefits are greatly exaggerated.

While it’s up to you to make up your own mind, I’m still not getting the shingles vaccination or recommending it to my patients. Plus, I’m outraged at the fact that Big Pharma fast-tracks things like vaccines through the FDA before they’re even deemed “safe.”

Now it’s your turn: What’s your opinion on this new research?

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