Australian media personality continues battle with shingles two months after covid vaccine booster dose
Australian radio and television personality Deborah Knight returns on air with shingles, two months after her Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) booster injection
Knight, the host of "Afternoons with Deborah Knight" on 2GB 873
radio in Sydney, was also affiliated with 2CC 1206
in Canberra and is the weekend host on Nine Network
's "A Current Affair."
A veteran journalist, Knight announced on February 7 that she's "back on deck" at 2GB
radio as she continues to battle with shingles, which is a reactivation of the chickenpox and results in a painful rash that can be treated with antiviral medication and pain relief.
Knight previously used her platforms to promote and encourage experimental COVID-19 vaccines since the beginning of 2021. She received her Pfizer vaccine on May 31, declaring that she's "feeling fine" after. She received her second shot on June 21. As per her Twitter account, Knight received her booster on December 11. (Related: Australia cancels COVID vaccine trial over 'unexpected' false positives for HIV
Shingles is a common and well-documented adverse effect of the mRNA vaccines despite mainstream media saying that they are rare. A Twitter user even went so far as to tell Knight about it, but the journalist dismissed the warning, saying that she'll "stick to the medical experts and their advice."
Shingles and the COVID-19 vaccine
Shingles is a fairly common condition that usually affects around 20 to 30 percent of people in their lifetime, and the risk of developing the disease
usually increases with age.
There had been reports of people experiencing a shingles flare-up after receiving their coronavirus vaccines, and it may be possible that it is an immune response that might trigger a flare. Others suggest that this may not be an adverse event, but merely a coincidence.
To prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, health experts have been pushing people to receive their doses as soon as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
insists that they are "safe and effective" despite the thousands of adverse effects and deaths recorded post-vaccination.
Researchers who continue to monitor the "safety" of the vaccines say that there is evidence suggesting that a shingles flare may be an adverse event. A small study in 2021 involving 491 vaccinated individuals in Israel showed six participants experiencing shingles after getting their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
. All six individuals had pre-existing conditions that lowered their natural immune response and have fully recovered from the disease.
The study prompted researchers to advocate for more studies regarding the vaccines and to look into whether or not they can serve as triggers for shingles.
However, a separate systematic review still indicates that there is "no definitive link" between the vaccine and shingles.
In two known cases of shingles eruptions in adults after vaccination with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, both individuals previously had chickenpox. While the researchers noted that these cases may be coincidental, they also highlighted the potential influence of stress and immune response to the vaccine.
"Shingles reactivates when there may be some mild derangement caused by stress
and other things like immune-suppressing medications and intercurrent illnesses, which allow the virus to then begin reactivating and producing the shingles," said Dr. Gerald Evans, chair of Queen’s University
’s infectious diseases division in Kingston, Ontario.
Researchers also noted that following vaccination, some may experience lymphocytopenia, or lower levels of white blood cells, which could be sufficient to trigger a reactivation that could result in a flare.
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