That Second Shingles Shot

Our family doctor has been after me to complete the two-part shingles vaccination process. I got the first one several months ago, and it apparently doesn’t become fully effective until you get round two. Our doctor also told me that many people who receive the second shot have a reaction to it, which means you probably want to get it on the weekend, so you can have some recuperation time before the new work week starts. Some of my friends and colleagues are among those who have had reactions to the second shot; others haven’t.

Because of the warning, I’ve put off getting the second shot, so as to avoid weekends where we’ve got plans that could be wrecked by a reaction to the shot. At the same time, I wanted to get it, because getting shingles at my age sounds so horrific–I heard one ugly tale about somebody who got shingles in their eyes–that I’m willing to endure a few crappy weekend days to avoid the possibility. So I made a reservation at a local CVS and went yesterday morning to get the jab. I’ve gone to the CVS for COVID shots, and know from personal experience that the pharmacists do a solid, professional job of administering vaccines.

At first, I was fine, although my shoulder that received the shot ached. But by nightfall, I was definitely feeling a reaction. I woke up overnight with shaky chills, followed by feeling hot and feverish and a general sense of malaise and and overall soreness. But, all things considered, it’s not that bad–and definitely preferable to getting shingles in your eyes.

Life is about making these kinds of little judgment calls. I think getting the second part of the shingles vaccine was a good one.