Is there a restriction regarding timing of Shingrix and the flu shot?
At a glance
- Most individuals can safely receive the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) and the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time.
- Neither vaccine affects our immune response to the other.
Yes, in most cases, Shingrix, the shingles vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, can safely be administered with the seasonal flu (i.e. influenza) vaccine.
Multiple studies show the co-administration of Shingrix and the flu vaccine does not result in an attenuated immune response to either vaccine. Per the prescribing information for Shingrix:
"In an open-label clinical study, subjects 50 years and older received 1 dose each of SHINGRIX and FLUARIX QUADRIVALENT (QIV) at Month 0 and 1 dose of SHINGRIX at Month 2 (n = 413), or 1 dose of QIV at Month 0 and 1 dose of SHINGRIX at Months 2 and 4 (n = 415). There was no evidence for interference in the immune response to any of the antigens contained in SHINGRIX or the coadministered vaccine."
Additional studies have reported similar findings to that of the study referenced in the prescribing information, that Shingrix can be safely administered with the seasonal influenza vaccine without compromising the efficacy of either vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control also states that it is safe to administer Shingrix and the flu vaccine at the same time:
"CDC’s general best practice guidelines for immunization advise that recombinant and adjuvanted vaccines, such as RZV, can be administered concomitantly, at different anatomic sites, with other adult vaccines."
It is important to note that the administration of Shingrix with the adjuvanted (an additive used to boost immune response) flu vaccine, Fluad, has not been studied.
Some studies have noted theoretical concerns about a higher risk of side effects with two adjuvanted vaccines (Shingrix is also adjuvanted) at the same time. If Fluad and Shingrix are given together, it is recommended to use different administration sites.
- Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. CDC
- Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Seasons. CDC
- Immunogenicity and Safety of an Adjuvanted Herpes Zoster Subunit Vaccine Coadministered With Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in Adults Aged 50 Years or Older. PubMed
- Clinical Usage of the Adjuvanted Herpes Zoster Subunit Vaccine (HZ/su): Revaccination of Recipients of Live Attenuated Zoster Vaccine and Coadministration With a Seasonal Influenza Vaccine. PubMed
- Shingrix Prescribing Information. GSKSource