Experts encourage shot to avoid viral infection that’s not COVID-19 or flu

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With all the talk around the COVID-19 and flu vaccine, people might not be aware of a third vaccine doctors recommend.

Health experts are recommending adults 50 and older to consider getting the shingles vaccine.

The viral infection is a re-emergence of chickenpox. Why it resurfaces, scientists aren’t quite sure. Symptoms include skin rashes painful to the touch, redness, itching and fatigue. Like the coronavirus vaccine, sufferers may experience side effects.

“The reaction to the shingles vaccine can be pretty strong,” Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health told News 8. “It can knock the wind out of your sails for a day or two like some of what we’ve seen with the COVID vaccines and even the flu shot for some people.”

While there is no evidence of direct protection against COVID-19 or the flu, Doehring recommends immunization against the shingles virus because a person’s immune system is compromised if they become infected making them more susceptible to both.

He also says the debilitating pain from the rash that comes with infection — especially in older adults — is just one more reason to get the vaccine.