Shingles Vaccine Caution

I have been asked repeatedly about the wisdom of taking the shingles vaccine, which is being pushed aggressively in the media. There are a number of things you should be aware of before opting for this "therapy."

First of all, this is a "live virus" vaccine. That means that there is actual herpes zoster in the preparation, although in attenuated form. Why is that a problem? Because the attenuated virus can still give you the disease. This is the same sort of vaccine that was responsible for all cases of polio in the U.S. before it was taken off the market in the late 1990s.

Since this virus causes shingles, why would you want to inject the virus directly into your system?

Another fact that you may not be aware of is that the vaccine only reduces the incidence of shingles by about 51%. The Centers for Disease Control web site also notes that it reduces post-herpetic neuralgia by 67%. I believe that to be the main reason doctors are pushing the vaccine, because they have no effective treatment for shingles, or the neuralgia that often follows. Fortunately, there is a natural therapy that is very effective. (See below)

While the CDC web site states that there is no documentation of anyone contracting shingles after receiving the vaccine, I have a serious disagreement with that statement. How would they know? The medical profession never considers vaccines as a possible source of infection. It took them almost 50 years to determine that the polio vaccine was dangerous. In my practice, I have seen more shingles since the vaccine was introduced than ever before.

There are large numbers of people who definitely should not take this vaccine. Again, from the CDC web site:

  • 1. Any one who has a severe allergy to gelatin (think beef), the antibiotic neomycin or any other component of the vaccine (which they don't detail, by the way).
  • 2. Any one who has severe allergies, in general.
  • 3. A person with a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS or other disease that affects the immune system.
  • 4. Any one using steroids.
  • 5. A cancer patient who has been given radiation of chemotherapy treatments.
  • 6. A person with a history of cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system (leukemia, multiple myeloma).
  • 7. Anyone who may be pregnant.
I routinely advise against shingles vaccine, due to the dangers. I have had a number of patients who have shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia. Fortunately, there is an effective herbal therapy. Medi-Herb, an Australian pharmaceutical manufacturer, markets a St. John's Wort (SJW) preparation that preserves the anti-viral fraction of the herb. No other SJW on the market has the same effect. If taken at the first sign of the outbreak, it will quench the blisters within 48 hours. Long-standing cases take longer to resolve.


Where post-herpetic neuralgia is concerned, the combination of SJW and Nevaton (another Medi-Herb product that is trophorestorative to the nerves) is very effective. The length of time it takes to resolve the condition is dependent upon how long it has been present. Again, it is a matter of "the sooner the better."

Both my sister and I suffer from recurrent shingles, particularly in response to stress. I routinely take SJW daily to prevent outbreaks. An added benefit: SJW protects against West Nile Virus, influenza, herpes and other enveloped viruses. (more information)

If you or anyone you know suffers from herpes or shingles, contact the Clinic so that we may assist you in recovering from, and preventing, further outbreaks.

Read more about vaccines 

Link to CDC website or download the pdf

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