Who’s Most At Risk Of Shingles
People tend to get shingles more often as they get older, especially over the age of 70. And the older you are, the worse it can be. The shingles rash can be extremely painful, such that sufferers cannot even bear the feeling of their clothes touching the affected skin.
The pain of shingles can also linger long after the rash has disappeared, even for many years. This lingering pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia .
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 you’ve 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.
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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How To Pay For Shingrix
Commercial insurance covers about 96% of insured people for the Shingrix vaccine. Most people with private insurance will pay under $5 for each dose.
Programs like Medicaid cover Shingrix in certain states. Medicare Parts A and B do not cover the shingles vaccine. But individuals covered under Medicare prescription drug plans, or Part D, will have their vaccines covered.
For people who do not have access to insurance, there are a number of vaccine assistance programs and affordable health coverage options available. Many of these programs provide vaccines at little or no cost.
A Look Back At Varicella
Even though chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus, the conditions have different vaccines. The chickenpox vaccine made its debut in 1995, but a shingles vaccine didnt hit the market until about a decade later. The first shingles vaccine was Zostavax in 2006. However, this vaccine was taken off the market in 2020, following the release of another vaccine, called Shingrix, in 2017. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that anyone who received Zostavax be revaccinated with Shingrix.
Three groups of people absolutely should not receive the shingles vaccine. These are people who:
- currently have shingles
- previously had an allergic reaction to any components of the Shingrix vaccine
If you are pregnant or currently have shingles, its best to wait to get vaccinated until you are no longer pregnant or your shingles case clears up.
It may be difficult to know if you are allergic to any part of the vaccine, so speak with a doctor about any medication allergies you may have or previous reactions you experienced after vaccinations.
Most of the side effects of the shingles vaccine are limited and short-acting. Side effects usually appear in the first few days after your first or second dose of the vaccine and disappear within a few days.
Common side effects include things like:
- arm soreness or pain where the vaccine was injected
- swelling or redness at the injection site
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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.
Conjugate Vaccine Carrier Proteins
Protein conjugates used in Hib conjugate vaccines produced in the United States include tetanus toxoid which is also used as a component of DTaP and Tdap vaccines . Simultaneous or sequential vaccination with Hib and these tetanus-toxoid containing vaccines is recommended when both are indicated . MCV4 and PCV13 both contain diphtheria-toxoid conjugates. There has been concern about simultaneous administration of vaccines containing like conjugates. One brand of MCV4, MenACWY-D , demonstrates reduced immunogenicity of the antibody response to Streptococcal pneumonia strains when administered simultaneously with PCV13 compared with separate administration. It is recommended to space these vaccines by 28 days in a person with anatomic asplenia . Simultaneous or sequential vaccination of MCV4-CRM , PCV13, and Tdap , all of which contain diphtheria toxoid, is not associated with reduced immunogenicity or increase in local adverse events.
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How Effective Is The Shingles Vaccine In Preventing Shingles
The shingles vaccine can provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most commonly occurring shingles complication.
The shingles vaccine is 97% effective in preventing shingles in people ages 50 to 69 years old. Its 91% effective in people ages 70 years and older.
In addition, the shingles vaccine is 91% effective in preventing PHN in people ages 50 to 69 years old. Its 89% effective in people ages 70 years and older.
Shingrix Dosage And Schedule
Shingrix should be administered to immunocompetent adults aged 50 years and older and adults aged 19 years who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed because of disease or therapy as a two-dose series , 2 to 6 months apart . However, for persons who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed and who would benefit from completing the series in a shorter period, the second dose can be administered 12 months after the first. See more detailed clinical guidance.
If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose of Shingrix, you should administer the second dose as soon as possible. However, you do not need to restart the vaccine series.
If the second dose is given less than 4 weeks after the first dose, the second dose should be considered invalid. A valid second dose should be administered 2 months after the invalid dose .
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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.
Who Needs A Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix is recommended for adults aged 50 or older. You should still get the vaccine even if youve had shingles in the past, as it is possible to get it again.
You can also get Shingrix if you received Zostavax in the past. This is important because studies have shown that the efficacy of Zostavax over time.
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Are There Any Restrictions After A Shingles Shot
You should not receive the shingles vaccine if you are pregnant, if you have an active shingles infection, or if you previously had an allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine. If youre eligible for the vaccine and receive the vaccination, there are no restrictions afterward and you can leave the doctors office or pharmacy as soon as the shot is complete.
Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
Some people shouldnt get the shingles vaccine. These people include those:
- Who currently have shingles.
- Who have had a severe allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine in the past.
- Who have tested negative for immunity to the varicella-zoster virus, meaning youve never had chickenpox. If youve never had chickenpox, you should get the chickenpox vaccine.
- Who are ill. You should wait until your illness has passed before receiving the shingles vaccine.
- Who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
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.
Interchangeability Of Combination Vaccines From Different Manufacturers
Licensure of a vaccine by FDA does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine is interchangeable with products from other manufacturers. Such data are ascertained and interpreted more readily for diseases with known correlates of protective immunity . For diseases without such surrogate laboratory markers, prelicensure field vaccine efficacy trials or postlicensure surveillance generally are required to determine protection . ACIP prefers that doses of vaccine in a series come from the same manufacturer however, if this is not possible or if the manufacturer of doses given previously is unknown, providers should administer the vaccine that they have available.
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Is It Possible To Get Shingles Twice
Most people who get shingles only experience it one time in their lives. However, it is possible to get shingles more than once . This is known as recurrent shingles. Getting vaccinated can help minimize the chance that this will happen.
These are only a few of the many questions people may have about Shingrix. To learn more about the vaccine and shingles, individuals can consult a medical professional.
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.
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Coadministration Of Jynneos Vaccine With Other Vaccines
Currently, there are no data on administering JYNNEOS vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. Because JYNNEOS is based on a live, attenuated non-replicating orthopoxvirus, JYNNEOS typically may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines. This includes simultaneous administration of JYNNEOS and other vaccines on the same day, but at different anatomic sites if possible.
However, there are additional considerations if administering a COVID-19 vaccine.
- If an orthopoxvirus vaccine is offered for prophylaxis in the setting of an orthopoxvirus outbreak, orthopoxvirus vaccination should not be delayed because of recent receipt of a Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine no minimum interval between COVID-19 vaccination with these vaccines and orthopoxvirus vaccination is necessary.
- People, particularly adolescent or young adult males, might consider waiting 4 weeks after orthopoxvirus vaccination before receiving a Moderna, Novavax, or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, because of the observed risk for myocarditis and/or pericarditis after receipt of ACAM2000 orthopoxvirus vaccine and mRNA and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines and the unknown risk for myocarditis and/or pericarditis after JYNNEOS.
Extra Doses Of Vaccine Antigens
Administering extra antigens contained in a combination vaccine should be avoided in most situations . Using combination vaccines containing certain antigens not indicated at the time of administration to a patient might be justified when 1) the extra antigen is not contraindicated, 2) products that contain only the needed antigens are not readily available, and 3) potential benefits to the patient outweigh the potential risk for adverse events associated with the extra antigens. An extra dose of many live-virus vaccines and Hib or hepatitis B vaccine has not been found to be harmful . However, the risk for an adverse event might increase when extra doses are administered at an earlier time than the recommended interval for certain vaccines .
A vaccination provider might not have vaccines available that contain only the antigens needed as indicated by a childs vaccination history. Alternatively, although the indicated vaccines might be available, the provider might prefer to use a combination vaccine to reduce the required number of injections. In such cases, the benefits and risks of administering the combination vaccine with an unneeded antigen should be carefully considered and discussed with the patient or parent.
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Do I Need To Pay For Shingles Immunisation
Vaccines covered by the NIP are free for people who are eligible. See the NIP Schedule to find out which vaccines you or your family are eligible to receive.
Eligible people get the vaccine for free, but your health care provider may charge a consultation fee for the visit. You can check this when you make your appointment.
If you are not eligible for free vaccine, you may need to pay for it. The cost depends on the type of vaccine, the formula and where you buy it from. Your immunisation provider can give you more information.
When Should I See A Doctor Because Of The Side Effects I Experience From Shingrix
Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system, so it may produce short-term side effects. These side effects can be uncomfortable, but they are expected and usually go away on their own in 2 or 3 days. You may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Contact your healthcare provider if the symptoms are not improving or if they are getting worse.
In clinical trials, Shingrix was not associated with serious adverse events. In fact, serious side effects from vaccines are extremely rare. For example, for every 1 million doses of a vaccine given, only one or two people might have a severe allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction happen within minutes or hours after vaccination and include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness. If you experience these or any other life-threatening symptoms, see a doctor right away.
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How Do We Know The Vaccine Is Safe
All medicines are tested for safety and effectiveness by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency . The shingles vaccine meets the high safety standards required for it to be used in the UK and other European countries. The vaccine has been given to millions of people worldwide.
Once they’re in use, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored by the MHRA.