How Well Does Shingrix Work
Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication of shingles.
- In adults 50 to 69 years old with healthy immune systems, Shingrix was 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective.
- In adults 50 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 89% effective.
- In adults with weakened immune systems, Shingrix was between 68% and 91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on their underlying immunocompromising condition.
In people 70 years and older who had healthy immune systems, Shingrix immunity remained high throughout 7 years following vaccination.
Late For The Second Dose
The recommended dosing schedule for Shingrix is as a two-shot series:
- One dose initially followed by a second dose 2 to 6 months later.
The question of what to do if it has been more than 6 months since your first dose comes up often.
First off, if you have had trouble finding a location that has the vaccine in stock and it has been more than 6 months since your first dose, you do not have the start the vaccine series over again.
The two most authoritative resources on the matter, the CDC and Immunization Action Coalition, recommend the following:
- Continue to look for the second dose of the vaccine and get it as soon as possible.
- You should not restart the vaccine series.
- Do not substitute the other herpes vaccine for your second dose.
The following excerpt is from the ‘Ask The Experts’ section on Immunize.org:
If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose of RZV , administer the second dose when possible. Do not restart the vaccine series, and do not substitute ZVL for the second dose of RZV . If you are out of RZV and a patient needs a second dose, the Vaccine Finder may be helpful for patients to locate other providers that have RZV in stock. Immunization Action Coalition
What Are The Best Over
As mentioned above, antiviral medications are prescription medications. Therefore, over-the-counter creams do not provide any antiviral activity, but they primarily work to relieve redness, pain, and itching symptoms. Topical creams containing lidocaine, capsaicin, or calamine may be helpful. Alternative treatments that can be topically applied include witch hazel cream, essential oils, manuka or clover honey, and chlorophyll. It is advised that you check with your doctor to make sure that these will not interact negatively with your existing medication before applying them.
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Do I Really Need Another Shot Heres What You Need To Know About The Shingles Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine, called Shingrix.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. Do I really need to get another vaccine?
With everyone talking about the coronavirus and flu vaccines these days, many might overlook the necessity of the shingles vaccine, doctors say. But, if youre 50 or older, they say its time to roll up your sleeve again.
Though shingles isnt a virus thats caught’ from others it hibernates in the nerve roots of people after they have the chicken pox, and natural immunity keeps it at bay it will come out and cause painful symptoms when that immunity is reduced by age, stress or illness.
Approximately 50% of all adults will get shingles in their lifetime if not vaccinated, said Dr. Marianne La Barbera, a family physician who practices in Sunnyside. The current vaccine being offered, Shingrix, is much more effective than the previous shingles vaccine offered, the doctor said. Even people who have had the older vaccine should get the Shingrix to boost their immunity and lower their risk of getting shingles.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of Shingrix , separated by two to six months, to prevent shingles and complications from the disease.
A doctor or pharmacist can administer the vaccine as a shot in the upper arm.
Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
It is safe for most people to get two doses of Shingrix. However, you should talk to your healthcare provider before getting the shingles vaccine if:
- You are pregnant
- You have severe allergies to any of the Shingrix ingredients
- You have ever experienced a severe allergic reaction to Shingrix
If you have a mild sickness, such as a cold, its usually safe to get the shingles vaccine. If you are moderately or severely ill, you should wait until you feel better to get your next dose of Shingrix.
You should still get the shingles vaccine if you dont remember having the chickenpox virus in the past and if youve had shingles previously. Shingrix can protect you against developing shingles again in the future.
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What Else To Know About The Shingles Vaccine
Ready to get vaccinated? This is the essential info on how the shots are given, what to expect with side effects, and more.
You need two doses of Shingrix to get full protection from shingles. You should get your second dose 2 to 6 months after the first. Your doctor or pharmacist will inject the vaccine into the muscle of your upper arm, so wear clothes that give easy access to that area.
If it has been more than 6 months since you got your first dose, go ahead and get your second dose. You donÃ¢t need to start over, Dooling says.
Because Shingrix is so new, experts arenÃ¢t sure whether youÃ¢ll eventually need another shot, or a booster, years down the road.
Ã¢The CDC is actively following how protected people remain after the two-dose series,Ã¢ she says. We know that after 4 years, protection remains above 85%. Only time will tell how durable that protection is.Ã¢
You do not have to wait between Shingrix and COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC has determined its safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as Shingrex, but recommends they be given in different arms. You should not get eithe vaccine if you have COVID.
Side effects are fairly common. You may have heard that people sometimes have unpleasant side effects soon after they get the shingles vaccine.
Ã¢Shingrix tends to have has more side effects than some vaccines, like those for the seasonal flu,Ã¢ says Kistler. The shingles vaccine may cause:
Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine
There are a few situations in which shingles vaccination may not be right for you. You should not get Shingrix if youâve ever had a severe reaction to a vaccine. This means you had trouble breathing or swelling in your mouth or airway, a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.
You should also skip Shingrix if:
- You have allergies to any parts of the vaccine. These include gelatin and the antibiotic neomycin. If you have other allergies, tell your doctor or pharmacist about them before you get Shingrix.
- You currently have shingles or another illness. You can get the vaccine when youâre well.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should wait until youâve stopped breastfeeding to get vaccinated.
- You happened to test negative for VZV, the virus that causes chickenpox. If youâre older than 50, you probably had chickenpox even if you donât remember it. The CDC does not recommend testing for this. However, if a blood test shows youâve never had the childhood illness, you should get the chickenpox vaccine instead.
If you have a disease or take medications that affect your immune system, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of Shingrix.
âItâs an individualized decision based on factors such as the specific medications and conditions of the person sitting in front of you,â Kistler says. She often consults with her patientsâ specialist doctors to make decisions about Shingrix.
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The First And Second Dose Of Shingrix Are The Same And Contain The Same Ingredients
The Shingrix vaccine comes in two vials that must be reconstituted by whoever is giving the vaccine prior to injection.
- One vial contains a single dose of the lyophilized varicella-zoster virus surface glycoprotein E antigen component .
- The other vial contains an adjuvant suspension . As a side note, an adjuvant is a component that enhances the immune response). The adjuvant in Shingrix is AS01B.
To reconstitute Shingrix, the adjuvant suspension component is transferred via a syringe into the lyophilized gE antigen component vial. The resulting reconstituted suspension contains the following components:
- Recombinant gE antigen
What Does The Shingles Vaccine Do
The shingles vaccine can prevent shingles. Every year, about 1 million people in the United States get shingles. Anyone whos had chickenpox can get shingles. Thats because the varicella-zoster virus lives silently in your nervous system after youve had chickenpox. The virus can reactivate later in your life if your immune system is weakened. Your risk of getting shingles goes up as you get older. In the United States, 1 in 3 people will get shingles in their lifetime.
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Fever And Feelings Of Malaise
Fever is one of the most common side effects of many vaccines, including Shingrix. This symptom often accompanies other feelings of malaise, such as muscle pains, chills, and headaches. A fever indicates that the bodys immune system is doing its job of responding to the vaccine.
Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other OTC fever reducers can help keep a fever and many accompanying symptoms at bay. However, if you develop a high-grade fever of 103°F or higher, reach out to your doctor immediately.
Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
- Anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction to this vaccine in the past, or to any component of the vaccine: Varicella Zoster Virus gE Plant extract: Quillaja saponaria Molina fraction 21 Bacterial extract: 3-0-desacyl-4-, monophosphoryl lipid A Powder : dipotassium phosphate, polysorbate 80, sodium dihydrogen phosphate dehydrate, sucrose Suspension: dioleoyl phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol, disodium phosphate anhydrous, potassium dihydrogen phosphate, sodium chloride. Stopper is butyl rubber, not natural rubber latex.
- Anyone who has had a case of shingles in the past year.
- Anyone who has had the other shingles vaccine, Zostavax®, in the past year.
- Anyone with a high fever or moderate to severe illness should wait until they feel well.
- Anyone with a bleeding disorder should tell their health care provider since it is an intramuscular injection.
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Im Living With Hiv Is It Safe For Me To Get Shingrix
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasnt made a recommendation about the use of Shingrix in people living with HIV.
However, one study looked at healthy adults ages 18 and older who were living with HIV and had an HIV dosing schedule that was customized to their needs. These people received the Shingrix vaccine, and the study results did not report any safety issues.
If youre living with HIV, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of getting Shingrix.
Skipping The Second Dose Of The Shingles Vaccine Might Mean You Have Less Protection Against This Painful Rash
Medically reviewed in March 2021
Shingles is a painful condition, and the effects of it can last for months or even years in some cases. Although there is no cure for shingles once you have it, there is a vaccine that prevents shingles in the first place.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that healthy adults over the age of 50 get the shingles vaccine. This is true even if youve had shingles in the past, or if you were previously vaccinated with the older shingles vaccine.
The shingles vaccine is administered in two separate dosesonce you receive the first dose, the second should be given 2 to 6 months later. After the second dose, the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles, according to the CDC.
Why the second dose matters The shingles vaccine is designed to be given as two doses, not as one. Despite the effectiveness of the vaccine, some people skip their second dose. Some simply forget to follow up and lose track of the appointment date. Others may skip the second dose due to costdepending on your insurance plan, you may be responsible for a co-pay or deductible fee, or you may need to pay for the second dose out of pocket.
Getting the second dose gives you the full protection the vaccine offers. Below are some ways to make sure you get your second dose.
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How Is Shingles Spread
You do not “catch” shingles it comes on when there’s a reawakening of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body. The virus can be reactivated because of a range of issues, including advancing age, medicine, illness or stress.
Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. It’s estimated that around 1 in 5 people who have had chickenpox go on to develop shingles.
Read more about the causes of shingles.
What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
Its normal to have questions before you get a vaccine. Some common questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider include:
- When should I get the shingles vaccine?
- What side effects should I expect?
- How does the shingles vaccine work?
- When should I schedule each dose of the shingles vaccine?
- How effective is the shingles vaccine?
- Is there any reason I shouldnt get the shingles vaccine?
- What could happen if I dont get the shingles vaccine?
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Dose Route Of Administration And Schedule
Live attenuated zoster vaccine
Each dose is 0.65 mL .
Route of administration
Each dose is 0.5 mL .
Route of administration
Intramuscular, into the deltoid region of the upper arm.
Administration of the RZV as a subcutaneous injection is a vaccine administration error and should be avoided. However, if Shingrix is inadvertently administered subcutaneously, that dose will be considered as valid in the vaccine series. The second dose will be given as per vaccine schedule.
For more information, refer to Vaccine Administration Practices in Part 1.
2 doses, 2 to 6 months apart. A 0,12 months schedule may be considered for improved adherence to the 2nd dose .
Providers should consider different strategies to promote adherence to the two dose schedule for RZV .
Can The Shingles Shot Cause Guillain
Though rare, but Guillain-Barré syndrome can occur with both the shingles vaccine and the shingles virus itself.
Symptoms of this serious autoimmune disorder include a loss of sensation and muscle paralysis that tends to come on quickly, typically spreading up from your lower extremities.
It can be life-threatening, so contact a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have symptoms.
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Herpes Zoster In People Who Are Immunocompromised
People who are immunocompromised have an increased risk of herpes zoster compared with non-immunocompromised people. Rates of herpes zoster are up to 15 times higher in people who are immunocompromised due to HIV. In the 1st year after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, up to 30% of patients may develop herpes zoster.25,37
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Know Your Risk Of Getting Shingles And Complications
About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime.
If youve had chickenpox, you are at risk for shingles. More than 99% of Americans born before 1980 have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember it.
Your risk of getting shingles and having serious complications increases as you get older.
About 1 in 10 people who get shingles develop nerve pain that lasts for months or years after the rash goes away. This is called postherpetic neuralgia and is the most common complication of shingles.
Shingles may lead to other serious complications involving the eye, including blindness. Very rarely, it can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, brain inflammation or death.
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How Many Doses Of The Vaccine Do I Need
In most cases, the shingles vaccine is given as one dose.
If you have a severely weakened immune system you will be offered a second dose of the vaccine at least 8 weeks after your first dose.
Speak to a healthcare professional about getting other vaccines at the same time so they can advise whatâs best for your individual circumstances.
You should ideally wait seven days between the coronavirus vaccination and shingles vaccination.
Why Is It Important To Receive A Vaccination Against Shingles
About 33% of adults in the U.S. will develop shingles at some point in their lives. Shingles can cause painful blisters, a rash, chills, and fever, among other symptoms. Many people who have shingles later develop PHN, which can cause long-lasting pain that is difficult to treat.
Getting the Shingrix vaccine can help individuals avoid shingles and PHN and help prevent shingles from spreading to vulnerable people.
Redness At Injection Site
Redness at and around the injection site is common and may appear immediately or some days after receiving Shingrix. This redness commonly develops due to a localized immune system response, which shouldnt cause further concern.
Arm redness should disappear within a few days after receiving the vaccine. However, if you experience redness with a rash or severe pain, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Can My Grandfather With Shingles Give My Baby Daughter Chickenpox
Yes, although people with shingles cannot pass shingles to someone else, they can pass chickenpox virus to others through direct contact with the rash. If your baby has not yet had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, she could become infected with the virus and develop chickenpox.
Unlike chickenpox that can be passed to others through coughs or sneezes, people with shingles can only pass the virus to others through direct contact with the rash. If the rash has yet to develop or has crusted, the patient cannot transmit the virus. Similarly, people who still have pain without the rash are no longer able to transmit the virus.
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