Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 13:58:31 -0400
Reply-To: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: List Moderator <ecgrants**At_Symbol_Here**UVM.EDU>
Subject: 3 more RE: [DCHAS-L] Shingles Vaccine

From: "BECKY.Garbarino**At_Symbol_Here**" 
Date: May 21, 2008 10:15:52 AM EDT (CA)
Subject: RE: [DCHAS-L] Shingles Vaccine

As with every personal medical decision, the shingles vaccine issue is  
just that:  a PERSONAL issue and decision.  The best approach is to  
gather as much (valid) data as possible and discuss the options with  
your personal health care provider.  As for me, I'll probably get the  

From: 	ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**
Subject: 	RE: [DCHAS-L] Shingles Vaccine
Date: 	May 21, 2008 11:08:10 AM EDT (CA)

To the DCHAS group:

As one of the few (if not the only) physicians as a member of DCHAS:

What happens is that the virus that causes chickenpox lies dormant in  
the spinal cord nerve roots/ganglia and can emerge years and years  
after the original (usually childhood) infection and presents as a  
quite painful vesicular rash along 1 or more dermatomes (the  
anatomical areas of the skin that are innervated by nerves from the  
nerve roots and extra-spinal cord ganglia).  The disease, as some  
members have noted, can range from mild to severe.  Prehaps the worst  
case in when the eye is involved (specifically the cornea)  
(innervated, if I recall correctly from medical school, by the 2nd  
branch of the Vth cranial nerve).

Shingles tends to occur unilaterally (on one side of the body).  It  
does tend to be a disease of the somewhat elderly (I'm pushing 60  
myself), but also occurs when the immune system is not in full working  
order (which usually keeps the dormant virus in check).  Such  
occurences as a need for immunsuppressant medication (for organ/tissue  
transplantation), any immunodepressed condition, corticosteroid  
medications (for anything from COPD to severe asthma to a bad case of  
urticaria [hives], etc.) to even severe stress of any kind can trigger  
the onset.  Treatment is available, but the disease can be quite  
severe and quite long-lasting.

I'm in Europe for a scientific meeting at present and haven't been  
able to fully research the disease, what's changed about it or  
knowledge of it since I began devoting my time to Medical Toxicology  
many years ago, nor the literature available on the new vaccine.  Once  
I return to the US in a week or so, I'll take some time and research  
the issue and post the results on this website.

In the meantime, I'd recommend that you use your own judgement,  
discuss it with your personal physican, and make up your own mind  
about whether or not this is for you (I haven't yet been able to look  
at the downside:  what adverse/side effects may occur with the  
vaccine).  Without having looked at it today, I'd suggest those who  
are contemplating having the vaccination Google the topic and also  
perhaps see what's available on (best to Google  
"Shingles" and look for an hit or hits -- generally  
fairly thorough reviews from a person or persons knowledgeable in the  
field).  Another place is to look is in the National Library of  
Medicine's "MedlinePlus" database which is written for non-medical  
folks ( and then select Medline Plus; you can  
also check the medical literature by choosing PubMed from the main  

Mind, I'm not recommending that anyone choose to have or not have the  
vaccination based on this email.  I'm not your personal physician.   
I've provided this for information purposes only and will provide more  
information when I have time to research it.  The choice is between  
you and your physician, based on your patient-doctor/doctor-patient  
relationship.  However, I have always believed that informed and  
educated patients are in a better position to make their own choices  
regarding their healthcare.

More later when I'm not in France.

And to Susan Hadden:  Nurses are worth far more than their weight in  
gold or any other precious metal or highly compressed and arrayed  
carbon you care to name (hint:  Superman used to squeeze lumps of coal  
and what did he produce?).  We need many more of them.

Alan H. Hall, M.D.
Medical Toxicologist

From: 	ACTSNYC**At_Symbol_Here**
Subject: 	Re: [DCHAS-L] Shingles Vaccine
Date: 	May 21, 2008 8:47:26 AM EDT (CA)

Good thinking.  Add to that the very small possibility of serious  
complications and it makes the rationale complete for getting the  
vaccine.  A family member got shingles in the face, eye and ear area.   
He was left with reduced vision and hearing and some scars on his  
face. I got the shot.

Monona Rossol

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