Shingles Vaccine for Recurrent Herpes Simplex

shingles herpes zoster vaccinationShingles Vaccine for Recurrent Herpes Simplex

I have known Linda for about seven years now, treating her for  Hashimotos’ thyroid disease.  Linda has other problems.  She takes daily acyclovir for recurrent attacks of oral-facial herpes simplex which can be quite debilitating.   Recently,  we were chatting and Linda brought up the idea of Shingles vaccination to prevent the oral-facial herpes attacks.

I immediately volunteered my opinion that this is a bad idea.  This is a Chickenpox vaccine, not a herpes simplex vaccine. How do we know it would work?  The shingles vaccine is a live attenuated chicken pox (varicells) virus cultured on aborted human fetal cells. (MRC5 line), so the vaccine contains human DNA fragments.

Information about thHerpes Labialis Lower Lip shingles vaccinee Shingles Vaccine: 

“The live virus shingles vaccine is actually a very strong booster dose of the Varicella Zoster (chickenpox) vaccine. Zostavax vaccine for shingles and Varivax vaccine for chickenpox are both manufactured by Merck and are the only licensed vaccines to prevent chickenpox and shingles in the U.S.”

In the Zostavax product information insert, Merck describes the ingredients of shingles vaccine:

“ZOSTAVAX is a lyophilized preparation of the Oka/Merck strain of live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus (VZV). ZOSTAVAX, when reconstituted as directed, is a sterile suspension for subcutaneous administration. Each 0.65-mL dose contains a minimum of 19,400 PFU (plaque-forming units) of Oka/Merck strain of VZV when reconstituted and stored at room temperature for up to 30 minutes. Each dose contains 31.16 mg of sucrose, 15.58 mg of hydrolyzed porcine gelatin, 3.99 mg of sodium chloride, 0.62 mg of monosodium L-glutamate, 0.57 mg of sodium phosphate dibasic, 0.10 mg of potassium phosphate monobasic, 0.10 mg of potassium chloride; residual components of MRC-5 cells including DNA and protein; and trace quantities of neomycin and bovine calf serum. The product contains no preservatives.”

Serious Adverse Events

“By August 2011, the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) had received 442 serious vaccine adverse reports following Zostavax vaccination, including 36 reported deaths . Serious shingles vaccine reaction symptoms reported to VAERS include rash, joint pain (arthralgia), muscle pain (myalgia), fever, abnormally swollen glands (lymphadenopathy) and hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis (shock).”(reference)

Herpes_Labialis_Lower LipParis Hospital Does Study Using Zostivax for Recurrent Oral Heroes.

After a few minutes I thought well,  maybe somebody else has done a study and tried the Shingles Vaccine for recurrent oral herpes.  Maybe it does work, Let’s look it up.

We found a  2012 study France:  Efficacy of antiVZV antiHSV3 vaccine HSV1 HSV2 recurrent herpes simplex Jacqueline Le Goaster 2012.

In a hospital in Paris a prospective study was done in 2012 using shingles vaccine for 24 patients with recurrent oral-facial herpes, uncontrolled by acyclovir. Another 25 patient serves as controls.  Remarkably, the shingles vaccine group had zero recurrence of herpes over 6 years of follow up, while the control group continued to have 4-5 outbreaks per year as before.

eat my hat herpes shingles zoster vaccineI turned to Linda and said I would have to change my opinion, as this actually looks pretty good for preventing attacks of oral herpes.  So, if you notice a piece of my hat missing, that’s  where I had to take a large bite and “Eat My Hat”.

Jeffrey Dach MD

This article is part two of a series, for part one, click here.

Article with related interest:

Herpes Simplex Natural Treatments

Links and References

1) Efficacy of antiVZV antiHSV3 vaccine HSV1 HSV2 recurrent herpes simplex Jacqueline Le Goaster 2012

2) Information on Shingles Vaccine

Jeffrey Dach MD
7450 Griffin Road Suite 190
Davie, Fl 33314

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Shingles Vaccine for Recurrent Herpes Simplex
Article Name
Shingles Vaccine for Recurrent Herpes Simplex
Shingles vaccine is effective for prevention of recurrent oral herpes outbreaks.
jeffrey dach md
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  • Louis

    Why not try Olive Leaf Extract.
    Elenolic acid from hydrolyzed Oleuropein might work against Herpes.
    Refer to book by Dr. Morton Walker (1997).

  • Patricia Richetto

    Unfortunately, Zostavax is not a silver bullet. I received the Zostavax Shingles vaccine in the Fall 2014 and experienced no Herpes Simplex or cold sore outbreak for 2 years. I rejoiced! In November 2015, I experienced a lighter “flare up” than in past episodes. I determined that Zostavax does offer immunity against flares of Herpes Simples; however, I find it important to also remember that certain food triggers that are high in Arginine will exacerbate a Herpes outbreak and other foods reduce arginine levels in the body and combat stress. See the helpful website below. Thank you for the information, it helped confirm my personal plan for intervention and management.
    Best Foods & Worst Foods to Avoid with Herpes – Just Herpes

    › Homepage

    › Herpes Facts

    • Marie

      How did you not have outbreaks for 2 years if you got it in 2014 and then had a flare in 2015?

  • Lee Eng

    Story has a monster hole in it studies were conducted in Paris in 2012 and patience were simptom free for 6 years. I did not realize it was 2018

    • Brittany

      The study was published in 2012. It was conducted between 2005 and 2011. It also says nowhere in the study or in the above text that patients were symptom free for six years, only that they were symptom free over the course of six years of followup, ie, the duration of the study. There were some patients who enrolled in the study in 2005 and were symptom free throughout the entire duration of followup but not all; some were not participating in the study until 2010 but it looks like most patients were started around 2008 or earlier.

      • Lee Eng

        Thanks for the clarification.

        • Lee Eng

          Still no follow up studies?

  • Lee Eng

    Another glaring gap usually you can find more than one study or test to verify results at this time this is the only study I can find.

  • Quidnunciac

    Which vaccine has been show to be more effective against HSV 2? shingles or chickenpox ?

  • Bombshell

    I received the varicella in 1997 and it seems I no longer have immunity because no more antibodies! I’m not sixty but I’m wondering why we just can’t get the zostavax versus the varivax! Now I wonder how long I had immunity for because I’ve not checked since circa 2001 or 2002

  • Susan Ford Keller

    Hmmm….. I guess you have to pick what you can live with. Which is worse – the herpes or the side effects from the shot? You don’t mention taking lysine, which helps a lot of people with herpes, or avoiding foods high in arginine, which also helps. I think avoiding GMOs would help general health and support the body in resisting the herpes virus.

  • Rob Cole

    I used to have at least 3 to 4 outbreaks a year. I convinced my doctor to give me the shingles vaccine after reading a study done in Paris on how the vaccine effected those with hsv 1 and 2( all participants in the study reported being outbreak free for the 6 year follow up). I have not had an outbreak since getting the vaccine last February.

  • Rob Cole

    I used to have at least 3 to 4 outbreaks a year. I convinced my doctor to give me the shingles vaccine after reading your article and the study done in Paris. I have not had an outbreak since getting the vaccine last February. Thanks, Dr. Dach

    • Glad you are doing so well.
      thanks for your update
      dr d

  • Justin Fitpatrick


  • Justin Fitpatrick


  • Justin Fitpatrick