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Vaccinations before starting Humira

I had the Pnuemovax last week and am trying to get the Shingrix this week before starting Humira . I have to check with my insurance because it is a pricey one...also there is a shortage so I have to look around.

Did anyone here have to get the Shingrix vaccine ? it is not the live one and is fairly new.


Well-known member
San Diego
I tried to get the Shingrix but there was a month-long waiting list, and for some reason my insurance would cover it only if administered through a doctor's office and not through a pharmacy.

Since I'm already on a biologic there was no rush to get it done before the first dose. So I'm going to wait until the Shingrix shortage is alleviated and then try again. Plus I already had the older Zostavax shingles vaccine some years ago, so hopefully that provides enough protection to hold me until I can figure out something for the Shingrix.
interesting about the insurance...i will call mine tomorrow. I have read the Shingrix is powerful and has some pretty strong side effects....I don't look forward to it but Shingles would be far worse...it's reassuring that you had the Zostavax already.
Called my insurance, they only cover it for pts over aged 50. I have to request my dr to appeal....not sure how long it will take and if I have to wait until i get the vaccine before starting Humira.

my little penguin

Staff member
Ask about the waiting period from vaccines to starting the biologic
Since some require a longer wait then other (3 months for some kiddie stuff)
Not a big deal or any wait for others.


Staff member
Shingrix is the inactive version - it's not a live vaccine. Zostavax is a live vaccine, so that has to be done BEFORE starting biologics.

But Shingrix can be given even while on a biologic, though it would be ideal to have the vaccine before (we were told you'd have a better immune response if you're not immunosuppressed).

My husband is starting a biologic and hasn't been able to get Shingrix yet, because of the shortage in our area. But his doctor told him that since it isn't live, he can have it after starting.

For certain vaccines you do have to wait before starting a biologic, as my little penguin said above. My daughter had to wait several months after having the varicella vaccine before she could start Humira, since it is a live vaccine.
yep, just been turned away from Walgreens pharmacy because I am under 50yrs old and they have to keep to CDC guidelines regardless of health need. I now have to wait for PCP to get Shingrix back in stock.

Maya142, I was hoping to get the vaccine pre-humira for that reason - better response. oh well....another hurdle.

Thanks all for the replies ! I really appreciate this forum :)
For thread purposes, I received Shinrix yesterday in BC Canada. I’m under 50 (early 40’s).

Took a bit to get up the gumption, but once I did I called around to find a pharmacy with it in stock. The pharmacist was inclined to turn me away, but once I explained that I’m on month 7 of vaccines prior to biologics for CD, and Shinrix is nearing the end of the cycle, she agreed (but wouldn’t be comfortable giving the 2nd dose).

She showed me a little printout (I presume from a pharmacist internal forum), which noted that if given between 18-49 yrs, that it’s not an emergency, but to not give a 2nd dose. Also reading the monograph, it did appear the younger of the studied age groups did notably have more side effects. Both pharmacists said that I could feel flu like symptoms for 3-4 days, and that the 2nd dose is worse for people. So there are a couple of studied and anecdotal evidence that things are kind-of backwards with this vaccine.

I can attest to feeling crummy after 24 hrs (also had the flu shot, but they have never made me feel like this). I managed to get out for a little bike ride today, but definitely not my usual self. I had thought about getting one Shinrix before biologics, and 1 after, but at this rate, if they’ll let me I may get dose 2 prior.

Also not covered at all either by 3rd party or provincial co-pay.... but hopefully worth it!