Shingrix vaccination - safe to fly immediately?

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by NoHeat, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,499
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    17
    Is it comfortable and safe to fly right away after getting the new Shingrix vaccination for shingles?

    I don't see it mentioned on the FAA list, where typhoid was the only vaccination I saw listed.

    However, I've read that Shingrix side effects are worse than most vaccinations, especially significant pain for two or three days. So I'm wondering if it's safe and reasonably comfortable to fly the next day, or the day after.
     
  2. wilkersk

    wilkersk Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,127
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    Just got the first injection last week. The only pain was localized muscle soreness at injection site; same as any other intra-muscular injection. Not nearly as bad as the old gamma globulin injections. Haven't noticed any other side-effects so far.
     
  3. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    25,304
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    I wouldn't, vaccines can put some well off their game.
     
  4. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    8,628
    Location:
    Mineral Bluff, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fast Eddie B
    I had the Shingrix and the followup. Nothing more than very mild soreness at the injection site.

    Still, the Most Conservative Action would probably be to schedule it for when you didn’t have to fly for a day or two.
     
  5. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,891
    Location:
    Clinton, AR (Sometimes)
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Total Stud Bush Pilot
    Too lazy to look up the info, but I'm assuming two shots. What is the interval between them?
     
  6. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    9,578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Just got the prescription a couple days ago during my class 2. Doc never mentioned flying restrictions but I’ll wait til my week off to be safe. He said 2 month wait prior to the second shot.
     
  7. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    8,628
    Location:
    Mineral Bluff, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fast Eddie B
    Yep. About 2 months between.

    Got mine at Walmart.
     
  8. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2015
    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    pensacola
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FAA HIMS/AME/ATC flight doc
    shot today ... fly tomorrow!
     
  9. wilkersk

    wilkersk Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,127
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    My pharmacist said minimum 2 months, max 6 months between the 2.
     
  10. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,891
    Location:
    Clinton, AR (Sometimes)
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Total Stud Bush Pilot
    That fits MUCH better with my work schedule.
     
  11. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,499
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    17
    As a followup to my OP, I indeed flew the next day, after the Shingrix shot.

    Soreness and a bit of swelling were the only side effects. The soreness was limited to the shoulder where the shot was, and it faded away in about three days. I couldn’t sleep on that side the first night, but otherwise I was able to do everything comfortably that I normally do, including flying using only the affected arm for the yoke. The second day I took an ibuprofen, but it wasn’t really necessary.

    Overall, it is a bit more irritating than an average vaccination but nothing to get excited about. I was encouraged to get the shot by a relative who didn’t, and who recently got shingles. Comparing our experiences, I can say that the discomfort from the shot is definitely MUCH less than for a case of shingles, and vastly shorter in duration as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  12. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2013
    Messages:
    4,101
    Location:
    Eclectic, AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Hank
    Do a few pushups after getting the shot, you will be much less sore. Unless the injection was in your posterior, in which case do a few squats.
     
  13. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    9,457
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    How long to wait before flying if I pass out because I saw the needle first..???
     
  14. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,674
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    I had the first dose today during my annual physical. The clinic folks didn't say anything about activity restrictions, and they knew I was planning a hike later in the day. I did the hike - about 4.5 miles, 1450 feet elevation gain, a pretty moderate hike by my usual standards. Boy, now I wish I hadn't. :(

    I was feeling a little weaker than normal from the get-go but didn't think much of it. Odd muscle twinges in my upper back and behind the armpits. The hike was MUCH harder than it should have been. At the time I attributed this to the heat and humidity, especially the latter: it was MEAN, and we're on our way to a real heat wave this weekend. The muscle twinges continued and in fact they're still there, and I'm stiff and sore all over, especially in my lower back. I googled shingrix reactions and found the CDC page about the vaccine. Scrolling down to the section on Side Effects and Counseling for Reactogenicity:

    Myalgia and fatigue sounds like exactly what I've been experiencing.

    I also notice that the page recommends that patients "avoid strenuous activities, such as yardwork or swimming, for a few days after vaccination". Flying? The way I feel now, I sure wouldn't want to, though some of that is probably because I did something strenuous when I shouldn't have.

    Fortunately, my plane is still down for annual so flying was never an option. But the possibility of a reaction is something I'd keep in mind when deciding whether to go flying (or doing anything else requiring you to be on top of your game) right after getting the shot.
     
  15. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,674
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    Still very sore, now with general body aches similar to those when coming down with the flu. The injection site is much sorer than it would be a day after a flu shot, and it is definitely swollen and it hurts to raise that arm above my head. My temperature is about 0.7 F higher than it usually is at this time of day, though I wouldn't call it a fever. Definitely a "grade 3 systemic reaction" though, unless I'm actually coming down with something.
     
  16. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,674
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    I just found this Canadian link to a summary of results from two controlled studies on the effectiveness and safety of the Shingrix vaccine. Apparently systemic reactions are MUCH more common than 10% --- more like 30% - 50% in the case of myalgia and fatigue. The 10% only applies to "Grade 3" reactions, which are those sufficiently severe to interfere with normal activities. Mine might not be classified as Grade 3 then, at least not for most people (I'm kinda unusual in that strenuous hiking is a normal activity for me, at least during the summer).

    In any case though, that 30% to 50% figure for systemic reactions should be enough to give anyone pause before flying immediately after the shot. HTH
     
  17. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,621
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rushie
    Thanks for the info. Yesterday my doctor gave me a prescription for it. I said but I just got the shingles vaccine. She said no this is a new and improved one you should go get it too. Oh bother.
     
  18. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,674
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    FWIW I had the Zostavax too last year, and my PCP still recommended Shingrix. Everything I've read agrees with that recommendation. Just budget for a day or two of downtime, and ignore them if they say they've never had anyone complain about side effects. It's new, not everyone makes the connection; and of course, you might not notice anything at all!

    (They were going to give me a TDAP booster at the same time; good thing I opted to delay that, as apparently that always causes significant injection site pain.)
     
  19. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,621
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rushie
    My TDAP booster had me down for a week. It may have been coincidentally I got a virus but I think there is some plausibility to the theory that vaccination might distract your immune system leaving you vulnerable to the bug du jour.

    I'll probably do the Shingrix. I really don't want shingles. The flu shot on the other hand, I actually got the flu this year, a very bad case of it, and the variety that went around my part of the country, had I got the shot it would not have mattered anyway. I survived just fine and I'm not going to get a new shot every year just to get the flu anyway. Shingles on the other hand, I already know which virus I already carry. Different animal altogether.
     
  20. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,674
    Location:
    Vermont
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    I tend to agree with that theory, but it's also possible that you had a reaction to the vaccine, according to the CDC page on the TDAP vaccine. Thanks for the info, it only reinforces my belief that I made the right decision.
    Ouch, sorry to hear that you actually had the flu (confirmed influenza, I assume?). I had a "flu" this winter that was similar to the local strain of influenza, but couldn't be confirmed by the quick in-clinic test. Quite bad, and I was very sick for a week and sub-par for nearly 3. The problem with the flu vaccine is the mutation rate, so by the time the vaccine is available, the strain that is predicted to be dominant has often given rise to new strains against which the vaccine is less effective. It usually confers SOME immunity though, so I'm not sure I understand why you would not want to get it. Reactions to the flu vaccines are much much rarer than those to Shingrix or TDAP. Personally I'll continue getting it as my insurance covers it, and I just don't see a downside.
     
  21. Rushie

    Rushie Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    1,621
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rushie
    I was very sick for three full weeks, confirmed flu with the clinic test. My problem with the vaccine is I don't like being lied to or misled. For example, the statistics about "flu deaths" are inflated far beyond actual laboratory confirmed influenza. Old people get sick with a flu-like illness, get pneumonia and die, and their deaths are counted in the pushy media propaganda trying to get me to get the shot, but many bugs cause such respiratory illnesses. I have an automatic reject response when lied to so there you have it.
     
  22. J.E. Hanna

    J.E. Hanna Guest


    Don't fly. This is not a vaccine to be taken lightly! I felt mildly ill for only a couple of days after the first shot. But, after the required second shot, I had chills and fever and swollen joints starting about 12 hours after the shot and and lasting at least 12 hours. My upper arm was extremely sore and swollen for at least 48 hours. I was literally bed-ridden for about 36 hours, and felt flu-like for several days. Three weeks later, I still feel "off". There should be more warning about this vaccine, if only to let people plan accordingly.