Relapses of Herpes zoster: can I have the second dose of the vaccine?

Relapses of Herpes zoster: can I have the second dose of the vaccine?

I suffer from Herpes zoster with continuous recurrences every time I go through a moment of stress. I don’t have any particular skin manifestations, which usually disappear quickly with the application of antiviral ointment, but I have several symptoms that can be associated with the disease: first of all severe pain in the ribs, at times nausea and vomiting, headache, pain in the temples and neuropathies in the foot . I went to an immunologist who had me do a series of tests to rule out the presence of another disease and then decided to get the vaccine. I took the first dose and was prescribed an antiviral prophylaxis to take until the second dose. During this time I had Herpes twice. Immediately after the vaccine and a fortnight later. Some spots on my abdomen have reappeared and I feel bad. I should have the second dose on November 13th. Can I do it? Should I investigate further with further specific tests?

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It is unusual to have very frequent recurrences of Herpes zoster, if not years later. But it is also strange that they occur in the absence of skin manifestations. In this sense, it is advisable to be examined by an infectious disease specialist during the recurrence, so as to make sure that it is truly a case of HZ and that it is nothing else, such as a case of Herpes simplex, for which the HZ vaccine does not work. In conclusion, it is advisable to conclude the vaccination cycle, so the second dose should be given.

* Massimo Andreoni is Full Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and Scientific Director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit).

Note: The information provided is intended for informational purposes only: it does not represent medical advice in any way and cannot replace diagnoses or treatment recommendations recommended by your doctor or a specialist.

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