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”.

2017 Update one year later:  Linda called in to give me an update.  I asked Linda if she decided to go ahead with the shingles vaccine.  No she said.  She came down with a case of shingles about 6 months ago, and after that, the recurrent Oral-Facial Herpes went away.  I thought about it for a minute, and said:  Very good,  Apparently, your case of Shingles served as a Self-Vaccination, stimulating the immune system.  The oral-facial Herpes is now cured.

Update Oct. 2017: FDA Approves New Shingles (Shingrix) Vaccine as More Effective and will Replace Older Zostavax (3-10)

Many people have asked me, should I take the new Shingles Vaccine? Shingrix?  My answer is: on paper Shingrix looks more effective and better in some ways than the older vaccine Zostavax which was a live virus.  The Shingrix  does not contain a live virus, which I consider a safer feature.

The problem with a live virus vaccine:

Live Virus Can itself Cause Disease

The Zostavax manufacturer product insert states that “transmission of vaccine virus may occur between vaccines and susceptible contacts.”  Zostavax Manufacturer Merck is now involved in class action suit related to the ability of the live virus in the vaccine itself to cause disease .(10)

Unlike the Zostavax which is a live virus, the Shingrix combines an antigen, glycoprotein E, and an adjuvant system, AS01B.(11)  These two items are new.   Like any new drug, it may take a few years of use before we really know about the adverse side effects.  So ask me again 5 years from now.  In the mean time, consider the new vaccine a population wide experiment with you and me as the guinea pigs.

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

3) Oxman, Michael N., Ruth Harbecke, and David M. Koelle. “Clinical Usage of the Candidate Adjuvanted HZ/su Zoster Vaccine: re-vaccination of recipients of live attenuated zoster vaccine and co-administration with a seasonal influenza vaccine.” The Journal of Infectious Diseases (2017). Clinical Usage Adjuvanted HZ su Zoster Vaccine Oxman J Infectious Dis 2017

4) Retamal-Díaz, Angello R., et al. “A Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Deleted for Glycoprotein D Enables Dendritic Cells to Activate CD4+ and CD8+ T Cells.” Frontiers in Immunology 8 (2017): 904.

5) Cunningham, Anthony L. “The herpes zoster subunit vaccine.” Expert opinion on biological therapy 16.2 (2016): 265-271.
Introduction: Herpes zoster (HZ) causes severe pain and rash in older people and may be complicated by prolonged pain (postherpetic neuralgia; PHN).

Areas covered: HZ results from reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, often associated with age related or other causes of decreased T cell immunity. A concentrated live attenuated vaccine boosts this immunity and provides partial protection against HZ, but this decreases with age and declines over 5-8 years. The new HZ subunit (HZ/su or Shingrix) vaccine combines a key surface VZV glycoprotein (E) with T cell boosting adjuvant (AS01B). It is highly efficacious in protection (97%) against HZ in immunocompetent subjects, with no decline in advancing age and protection maintained for >3 years. Phase I-II trials showed safety and similar immunogenicity in severely immunocompromised patients. Local injection site pain and swelling can be severe in a minority (9.5%) but is transient (2 days).

Expert Opinion: The HZ/su vaccine appears very promising in immunocompetent patients in the ZoE-50 controlled trial. The unblinding of the current ZoE-50 trial and publication of results from the accompanying ZoE-70 trial will reveal more about its mechanism of action and its efficacy against PHN, particularly in subjects >70 years. Phase III trial results in immunocompromised patients are eagerly awaited.

6)  CDC recommends new shingles vaccine to replace older one By Susan Scutti, CNN October 26, 2017

7)  Shingrix Vs. Zostavax: What Is The Difference Between Shingles Vaccines?  By Dr. Brian Staiger

Six people out of 7,344 who received the two doses of Shingrix developed shingles—that is 0.08%. 210 out of 7,415 people who received the placebo became ill with shingles—that is 3%.

8)  This New Vaccine Has a Secret Benefit
For older adults, who are often the most vulnerable to severe and occasionally fatal infections, this kind of immune-boosting strategy will be a godsend.Paul Offit 11.07.17 12:00 AM ET

9)   Zostavax Just Say No to the Shingles Vaccination! Dr. Julian Whitaker  Shingles Vaccination Trial Results Unimpressive
The primary clinical trial prior to Zostavax’s approval showed that it reduced risk of developing shingles by about 50 percent, but this isn’t as impressive as it sounds. In the placebo group, 3.3 percent of the study participants developed shingles, compared to 1.6 percent in the vaccine group. Yes, that’s a 50 percent difference, but the real, absolute risk reduction is just 1.7 percentage points.
Another way of looking at it is 175 people would have to be vaccinated to prevent one case of shingles, and 1,087 would need to be treated to prevent one case of postherpetic neuralgia (lingering nerve pain after an initial attack)—at a cost of $150–$300 per shingles vaccination.

10)   Merck’s Zostavax Drug Hit With Lawsuits (MRK, GSK) By Shobhit Seth | March 15, 2017 — 3:05 PM EDT

11)  Chlibek, Roman, et al. “Safety and immunogenicity of an AS01-adjuvanted varicella-zoster virus subunit candidate vaccine against herpes zoster in adults≥ 50 years of age.” The Journal of infectious diseases 208.12 (2013): 1953-1961.
Background. An adjuvanted varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein E (gE) subunit vaccine candidate for herpes zoster is in development. In this trial we compared the safety, reactogenicity, and immunogenicity of the vaccine antigen combined with different adjuvant doses.

Methods. This was a phase II, observer-blind, randomized, multinational study. Adults ≥50 years old were randomized 4:4:2:1 to be vaccinated at months 0 and 2 with gE combined with a higher (AS01B) or lower (AS01E) dose adjuvant, unadjuvanted gE, or saline. Following each dose, solicited events were recorded for 7 days and unsolicited adverse events for 30 days. Serious adverse events were collected for 1 year. Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses were assessed at baseline and following each dose.

Results. No vaccine-related severe adverse events were reported. Solicited adverse events were generally mild to moderate and transient. For all gE-based vaccines, pain was the most common local symptom and fatigue the most common general symptom. Immune responses were significantly enhanced by AS01B and AS01E compared to unadjuvanted gE and were significantly stronger for gE/AS01B than for gE/AS01E.

Conclusions. AS01 improved the immunogenicity of gE while retaining acceptable safety and reactogenicity profiles. The enhancement of gE-specific cellular and humoral responses was adjuvant dose dependent.

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

Disclaimer click here:

The reader is advised to discuss the comments on these pages with his/her personal physicians and to only act upon the advice of his/her personal physician. Also note that concerning an answer which appears as an electronically posted question, I am NOT creating a physician — patient relationship. Although identities will remain confidential as much as possible, as I can not control the media, I can not take responsibility for any breaches of confidentiality that may occur.

Link to this article

Copyright (c) 2015 Jeffrey Dach MD All Rights Reserved. This article may be reproduced on the internet without permission, provided there is a link to this page and proper credit is given.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues of significance. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

Serving Areas of: Hollywood, Aventura, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Davie, Coral Springs, Cooper City, Sunshine Ranches, Hallandale, Surfside, Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Normandy Isles, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Golden Beach ,Kendall,sunrise, coral springs, parkland,pompano, boca raton, palm beach, weston, dania beach, tamarac, oakland park, boynton beach, delray,lake worth,wellington, my hat


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
  • Pingback: Herpes Simplex Natural Treatments - Jeffrey Dach MD()

  • 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


  • Mike Harison

    I AM SO HAPPY THAT I GET CURE FROM HERPES after two years of suffering and pain by this great herbal doctor i never believe in herbal doctor, but right now i believe in Dr favour i contact this virus from my girl friend ever since two years i pass through heir, some body refers this herbal doctor to me but i never believe i just said let me try, i contacted him and he assured me that i we get cured after i have taking his herbal medicine, it was a greatest surprise to me after one week of treatment i went for test in the hospital i was cured from herpes virus it was like a shock to me is this dream or reality. once again a very big thanks for your good work. if you contacted this virus or suffering from any kind of sickness you can contact him

  • Rose Wendy

    Hello everyone out there, I am here to give my testimony about a doctor who helped me in my life. I was infected with HERPES SIMPLEX 2 VIRUS, i went to many hospitals for cure but there was no solution, so I was thinking how can I get a solution out so that my body can be okay. One day I was in the river side thinking where I can go to get solution. so a lady walked to me telling me why am I so sad and i opened up all to her telling her my problem, she told me that she can help me out, she introduced me to a doctor who uses herbal medication to cure HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and gave me his email, so i mailed him. He told me all the things I need to do and also give me instructions to take, which I followed properly. Before I knew what is happening after 3 weeks of taking the medication, i started filling some changes in my body. I went to the hospital for medical check up and to my greatest suprise, my doctor confirmed me Herpes Simplex 2 Virus negative. so if you are also heart broken and also need a help, you can also email him at