Thursday, April 11, 2024

At What Age Can You Get The Vaccine For Shingles

People Who Shouldnt Have The Vaccination

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

There are 2 shingles vaccines available. One contains a weakened version of the live shingles virus.

The live vaccine is the one that is routinely used in the UK but people who have weakened immune systems, for example due to cancer treatment, should not have it. They should have the inactivated shingles vaccine. Your doctor will advise whether this applies to you. Further information is available on the Shingrix vaccine.

If youve had a severe reaction to any of the substances that go into the vaccine, you shouldnt have it. Again, your GP will advise you.

The live shingles vaccine used in the UK contains porcine gelatine. Some people may not want this vaccine but it is the recommended vaccine unless you cannot have it because you have a weakened immune system.

If you have the Zostavax vaccine, you will just need one injection. If you are not eligible for the live vaccine, you will need 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine 2 months apart to give you the best protection. Once your course is completed, you will not need any more shingles vaccines.

Why More Adults Arent Getting The Super

Despite such impressive results, only about 35 percent of adults 60 and older reported receiving the shingles vaccine in 2018. Whats behind the hesitation? A couple of things. First, says Kristin Christensen, M.D., an internal medicine specialist affiliated with Penn Medicine, in Radnor, Pennsylvania, some of us dont take shingles as seriously as we should: People think, If its not going to kill me I dont need it, without realizing that singles can be incapacitating, causing severe pain that can really limit peoples functioning.

Whats more, difficulty in getting the vaccine may have discouraged those who sought out the vaccine earlier on. The company that makes the vaccine couldnt keep up with the initial demand, resulting in long waiting lists at pharmacies that dispensed the vaccines.

Then theres the hit to your wallet. Shingrix costs on average about $195 per injection, and two injections are required. But unlike the flu and pneumonia vaccines, which are fully covered as preventive services under Medicare Part B, the shingles shot falls under the prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D. Depending on your plan, even after youve met your annual deductible youll likely end up shelling out money for it. If youre between the ages of 50 and 65, and covered by a private health insurance, ask your doctor about getting your vaccine now, while youve got good coverage, Schaffner suggests.

Know The Benefits And The Side Effects

Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and long-term nerve pain. You may experience some short-term side effects because Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system.

After getting Shingrix:

  • Most people had a sore arm.
  • Many people had redness and swelling where they got the shot .
  • Many felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea.

About 1 out of 6 people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities like yardwork or swimming. Side effects usually go away after 2 to 3 days. Remember that the pain from shingles can last a lifetime, and these side effects should only last a few days.

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Routine Vaccination Of People 60 Years Old And Older

CDC recommends a single dose of Zostavax® for people 60 years old or older, whether or not the person reported a prior episode of herpes zoster . People with chronic medical conditions may be vaccinated unless a contraindication or precaution exists for their condition. Zostavax is a live virus vaccine. It can be administered concurrently with all other live and inactivated vaccines, including those routinely recommended for people 60 years old and older, such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccines.

When vaccinating people 60 years old or older, there is no need to screen for a history of varicella infection or to conduct laboratory testing for serologic evidence of prior varicella infection. Even if a person reports that they have not had varicella, they can still receive the herpes zoster vaccine. The Zostavax®zoster vaccine package insert makes no reference to varicella history, and almost all people 60 years old or older are immune to varicella. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices states that people born in the United States prior to 1980 are considered immune to varicella. If serologic evidence of varicella susceptibility becomes available to the healthcare provider, the patient should be offered varicella vaccine not herpes zoster vaccine.

The general guideline for any vaccine is to wait until the acute stage of the illness is over and symptoms abate.

What Are The Benefits Of The Shingles Vaccine

What You Should Know About the Shingrix Vaccine for Shingles Prevention

The shingles vaccines are the best way to protect you from getting shingles. The vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of getting shingles by 50% for Zostavax® II, and to more than 90% for Shingrix®.

For those who still get shingles after being immunized, the vaccines can reduce pain, including the type of pain that lasts after shingles.

Read Also: How Long Do Shingles Blisters Last

Who Is At Risk For Shingles Infection

Although it can occur at any age, shingles is more common in older adults and in people with compromised immune systems. In fact, those who are immunocompromised are 1-6 times more prone to infection and have a significantly higher risk of recurrence.

Even people with normal immune systems are at greater risk as they age. Because our immune systems tend to weaken as we get older, by age 50 many people previously infected with chickenpox will have lost the specific immunity they developed after the original infection. When this happens, the virus can wake up and trigger shingles. Some experts believe that chronic stress, some medications and certain health conditions may also trigger the virus to reactivate.

In addition, people who have had COVID-19 are at increased risk. In a recent study, researchers have found that patients over 50 with a history of COVID-19 infection have a 15 percent higher risk of getting shingles, says Dr. Kumar.

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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/shingles-vaccination-for-adults-aged-70-or-79-years-of-age-a5-leaflet/vaccination-against-shingles-guide

There is a vaccine that helps reduce your risk of getting shingles and reduces the severity of symptoms if you develop the disease.

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Anyone can develop shingles because most people have had chickenpox .

This guide describes shingles, the Zostavax vaccine and the benefits of the vaccination and who is eligible for the vaccine this year. If you have problems with your immune system and cannot have the live Zostavax vaccine you may be eligible for 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine.

Read Also: What Is The Difference Between The 2 Shingles Vaccines

When Should You Get Immunised Against Shingles

Anyone aged 60 years and over who wants to protect themselves against shingles can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.

Shingles immunisation is recommended for:

  • adults aged 60 years and over who have not previously received zoster vaccine
  • adults aged 70 years to 79 years, for free under the National Immunisation Program
  • adults aged 50 or over who live in the same household as someone who has a weakened immune system.

Make A Plan To Get 2 Doses

Getting Shingles at a younger age
  • You can get Shingrix at your doctors office or pharmacy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting Shingrix.
  • Plan to get your second dose of Shingrix 2 to 6 months after your first dose.

Five years later, I still take prescription medication for pain. My shingles rash quickly developed into open, oozing sores that in only a few days required me to be hospitalized. I could not eat, sleep, or perform even the most minor tasks. It was totally debilitating. The pain still limits my activity levels to this day.

A 63-year-old harpist who was unable to continue playing due to shingles

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Who Should Get Shingrix

Adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. If needed, people with weakened immune systems can get the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first.

You should get Shingrix even if in the past you:

  • Received varicella vaccine

There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.

If you had shingles in the past, Shingrix can help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time that you need to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.

Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus . After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles.

Shingrix is available in doctors offices and pharmacies.

If you have questions about Shingrix, talk with your healthcare provider.

* A shingles vaccine called zoster vaccine live is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. If you had Zostavax in the past, you should still get Shingrix. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best time to get Shingrix.

Dose Route Of Administration And Schedule

Live attenuated zoster vaccine

Dose

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.

Schedule

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 .

Read Also: Can You Get Shingles On Your Back

Contraindications And Precautions For Shingles Vaccination

Zostavax should not be administered to:

  • A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of herpes zoster vaccine.
  • A person who has a weakened immune system because of:
  • HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system,
  • treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids,
  • cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy, or
  • cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
  • Women who are or might be pregnant. Women should not become pregnant until at least 4 weeks after getting herpes zoster vaccine.
  • Someone with a minor acute illness, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. But anyone with a moderate or severe acute illness should usually wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3°F or higher.

    This information was taken from the Shingles Vaccine Information Statement dated 10/06/2009.

    What Are The Risks Of Shingles

    Does express scripts cover shingrix vaccine

    About one in five people who get shingles will have severe pain after the rash goes away. This pain can last months or even years. This pain is known as post-herpetic neuralgia.

    Rare complications of shingles include scarring, pneumonia, loss of hearing or vision, swelling of the brain and bacterial superinfections of the rash.

    Read Also: What Are The Chances Of Getting Shingles

    Administration In People With Hiv

    The product information for Zostavax states that the safety and efficacy of Zostavax have not been established in adults with known HIV infection with or without evidence of immunosuppression.

    ATAGI recommends that Zostavax may be given to people who have HIV but are not immunocompromised, after confirming pre-existing immunity to varicella-zoster virus.

    Who Should Not Get Shingrix

    You should not get Shingrix if you:

    • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix.
    • Currently have shingles.
    • Currently are pregnant. Women who are pregnant should wait to get Shingrix.

    If you have a minor illness, such as a cold, you may get Shingrix. But if you have a moderate or severe illness, with or without fever, you should usually wait until you recover before getting the vaccine.

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    How You Get Shingles

    You dont catch shingles. Chickenpox virus caught earlier in your life reactivates later to cause shingles. You cant catch shingles from someone who has chickenpox.

    However, if you have shingles blisters, the virus in the fluid can infect someone who has not had chickenpox and they may develop chickenpox.

    Can People Who Got The Shingles Vaccine Be Around Babies

    Infectious Diseases A-Z: If you are over age 50, get your shingles vaccine

    Yes, people who had the shingles vaccine can be around babies. Unlike the previously available Zostavax vaccine, Shingrix does not contain live, weakened virus, so it does not replicate and people do not get a rash. Therefore, there is no chance of transmitting the virus to babies who are susceptible to chickenpox. Watch as Dr. Offit discusses being around babies after receiving a shingles vaccine in this short video, part of the series Talking About Vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit.

    Read Also: What Antiviral Drugs Are Used To Treat Shingles

    Can You Get Chickenpox If You’ve Been Vaccinated

    Yes. About 15% 20% of people who have received one dose of varicella vaccine do still get chickenpox if they are exposed, but their disease is usually mild. Vaccinated persons who get chickenpox generally have fewer than 50 spots or bumps, which may resemble bug bites more than typical, fluid-filled chickenpox blisters. In 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend routine two-dose varicella vaccination for children. In one study, children who received two doses of varicella vaccine were three times less likely to get chickenpox than individuals who have had only one dose.

    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.

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    Persons With Chronic Diseases

    Autoimmune disease

    Although definitive data are lacking, individuals with autoimmune disease not being treated with immunosuppressive drugs are not considered significantly immunocompromised. Individuals 50 years of age without contraindications should receive RZV.

    For more information, refer to Immunization of Immunocompromised Persons, and Immunization of Persons with Chronic Diseases in Part 3.

    Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine

    Check if you have shingles

    The CDC recommends all healthy adults ages 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine to prevent shingles and problems that can develop after youve had the disease. The two doses should be separated by two to six months. You should get the shingles vaccine even if you:

    • Have had shingles: If youve had shingles in the past, you should get the shingles vaccine to help prevent getting the disease again. You should wait until the shingles rash is gone before getting the vaccine.
    • Arent sure if youve had chickenpox: Studies show more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox at some point in their lives. You should get the shingles vaccine whether or not you remember having chickenpox because theyre caused by the same virus.
    • Received the old shingles vaccine : Before November 18, 2020, people were vaccinated with a shingles vaccine called Zostavax. You cant get Zostavax in the United States anymore. If you were vaccinated with Zostavax, you should get vaccinated with the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix.

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    Where In The Body The Vaccination Is Given And How Many You Will Need

    Like most vaccinations, the vaccine will be given in your upper arm. You will only have the vaccination once.

    If you have the Zostavax vaccine, you will just need one injection. If you are not eligible for the live vaccine, you will need 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine 2 months apart to give you the best protection. Once your course is completed, you will not need any more shingles vaccines.

    Vaccination Of People 50 Through 59 Years Old

    Zostavax is approved by FDA for people age 50 years and older. However, CDC does not recommend routine use of this vaccine in people age 50 through 59 years. Healthcare providers considering the herpes zoster vaccine for certain persons in age ranges should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with their patients. Although the vaccine has short-term efficacy, there have been no long-term studies of vaccine protection in this age group. In adults vaccinated at age 60 years or older, vaccine efficacy wanes within the first 5 years after vaccination, and protection beyond 5 years is uncertain therefore, adults receiving the vaccine before age 60 years might not be protected when their risks for herpes zoster and its complications are highest.

    Also, healthcare providers may want to first consider whether the patients 50 to 59 years old would have poor tolerance to herpes zoster or postherpetic neuralgia symptoms. For example, if the patient has

    • preexisting chronic pain, severe depression, or other co-morbidities,
    • intolerance to treatment medications due to hypersensitivity or interactions with other medications, or
    • extenuating employment-related factors.

    No data are available about the effectiveness of herpes zoster vaccine in adults who become immunosuppressed after their vaccination.

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