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How Long Do You Wait For Second Shingles Shot

Fever And Feelings Of Malaise

You Ask. We Answer. | How long should I wait to get the shingles shot?

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.

Swelling Around The Injection Site

Swelling around the injection site is another common side effect of Shingrix. Like pain and redness, minor swelling can usually result from a localized immune system response, which isnt necessarily dangerous.

You can apply hydrocortisone cream on or around the injection site to reduce redness and swelling. However, if you experience severe swelling that doesnt go away, or the swelling accompanies other symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention right away.

How Is Shingles Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider will do a complete physical exam and ask about your medical history, specifically about whether you have ever had chickenpox.

Your healthcare provider will likely know right away that it is shingles based on the unique rash. The rash usually appears one area on one side of the body or face. It appears as red spots, small fluid- or pus-filled vesicles, or scabs.

The healthcare provider may also take skin scrapings for testing.

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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.

What Are The Health Complications

When Should I Get The Second Shingles Shot

The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia . PHN causes severe pain even after the shingles rash clears.

People aged 60 years and older who dont seek treatment for shingles are more likely to develop PHN.

Shingles can also cause serious sight problems if it infects the structures of the eye.

Other rare complications include:

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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 Should Avoid Getting The Shingrix Vaccine

You should not get Shingrix if you:

  • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the Shingrix vaccine
  • Currently have shingles
  • Currently are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus
  • Have a moderate or severe illness with a temperature of 101.3º F
  • Have gotten Varivax less than eight weeks ago

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Will We Always Need Shingles Shots

People over the age of 50 usually had chickenpox as kids because the virus that causes it, varicella-zoster, is highly contagious. That said, theres now a generation of people who managed to avoid the once-common childhood illness because a chickenpox vaccine has been available in the United States since 1995.

Poland pointed out that only people who had chickenpox can get shingles, and since chickenpox can be prevented, there may come a time when shingles will be rare.

Once we reach a point where most people were vaccinated against chickenpox as children, Poland said its still an open question as to whether shingles vaccines will continue to be necessary.

Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine

How long can you wait to get your 2nd COVID vaccine dose?

You shouldnt receive the shingles vaccine if:

  • Youve had a previous severe allergic reaction to Shingrix or any of its ingredients.
  • Youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You have no immunity to chickenpox, which means you should get the chickenpox vaccine instead.

Having a mild illness like a cold isnt a reason to not get your shingles vaccine.

However, if you have a moderate to severe illness or a fever of 101.3 or higher, you should recover before getting your shingles vaccine.

state that the COVID-19 vaccine may be given without regard to the timing of other vaccines.

This means you dont have to wait to receive your COVID-19 and shingles vaccinations.

In fact, you can get your COVID-19 vaccine and shingles vaccine at the same time. If you choose to do this, make sure to receive your injections at two different sites.

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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.

What Problems Can Happen

Most cases of shingles heal on their own, with or without treatment, and wont lead to any other problems. In rare cases, shingles can lead to complications, including:

  • Ongoing pain : Damaged nerve fibers in the skin send confused messages to the brain, leading to pain. Pain can go on for a long time after the shingles rash is gone. This is the most common shingles complication.
  • Vision problems: Shingles near or in an eye can lead to vision loss.
  • Skin infections: A shingles rash can become infected with bacteria, leading to impetigo or cellulitis.
  • Nervous system problems: Shingles on the face can involve different nerves that connect to the brain. This can lead to nerve-related problems such as facial paralysis, hearing problems, and problems with balance. In very rare cases, shingles can lead to encephalitis .

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How Does The Shingrix Work

The shingles vaccine contains inactivated pieces of the virus, allowing the body to build immunity to the disease. In addition, it stimulates the bodys immune system to produce more antibodies without causing illness.

The presence of more antibodies helps the body confront the virus and keep the infection at bay. The vaccine also contains molecules that improve the bodys immune response to be stronger and last longer.

This process helps the body build immunity against the virus and lowers the risk of shingles-related complications such as PHN.

Shingles Virus Can Sleep Reactivate

How Long Can You Wait To Get Second Shingles Shot

Shingles is caused by the same virus the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox. Once you have had chickenpox, the virus that caused it remains inside your nerves. It is inactive, but it can be reactivated later in life. This causes shingles.

When the virus reactivates, the infected nerves, and the skin the nerves go to, become inflamed, causing a burning or stabbing pain. A few days later, when the virus reaches the skin, a rash of blisters appear along the affected nerve. The skin may be very sensitive, unable to tolerate even the lightest touch.

About 1 in 10 adults who get shingles experience long-term pain, even after the rash has healed completely. This condition is called post-herpetic neuralgia . It may last for months, or even years. And it can be debilitating.

After causing shingles, the virus again goes “back to sleep” inside your nerves. But it can still flare up again.

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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 .

Who Can Have The Shingles Vaccination

Shingles vaccination is available to everyone aged 70 to 79.

When you’re eligible, you can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

Read more about who can have the shingles vaccine.

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Who Should Not Have The Shingles Vaccine

You should not have the shingles vaccine if you’ve had a serious allergic reaction in the past to a previous dose of the shingles vaccine, or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, or to a previous dose of varicella vaccine.

If you have a weakened immune system a GP or practice nurse will assess which vaccine is suitable for you. Discuss any health concerns with the GP or practice nurse before you have the vaccine.

Zostavax is not suitable for people who have a weakened immune system due to a condition, treatment or medicine.

How Can I Get A Shingles Vaccine

Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

While most people get their shingles shots at a pharmacy, some receive it at their doctors office. At one time, some states required a prescription to get the shingles vaccine at a pharmacy, but those states have recently changed their rules. Now you dont need a prescription to get the shingles vaccine.

At a pharmacy. Pharmacists in all states can administer vaccines included on the CDC-recommended adult immunization schedule, including the shingles vaccine. Make sure your pharmacy is in your Part D plans network so it can bill your plan directly. Check with your pharmacy and insurance plan for details.

At a doctors office. Its a good idea to confirm your doctor can bill Medicare Part D before you plan to get the vaccine there. Otherwise, you may need to pay for the vaccine and submit a claim for reimbursement to your Part D plan. Ask the doctors office and your plan about the rules.

Keep in mind

If you have trouble affording Part D prescription drug coverage, you may qualify for the Extra Help program, a government program that helps people with limited income and assets pay premiums and out-of-pocket costs for Part D drug coverage. Starting in 2024, the Inflation Reduction Act also expands the level of income eligibility for the Extra Help program.

Update October 11, 2022

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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.

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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How Long After Shingles Can A Person Get Vaccinated

Keith Roach, M.D.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 81 years old and was diagnosed with shingles at the end of October 2020. After taking famciclovir, I am healing, but still have a scaly rash and shooting pains on the right side of my head where the shingles occurred. I was told that the pain could last for a year or more. Is this true? The initial outbreak was on my scalp, forehead, brow and eye area. I did see my ophthalmologist and was fortunate that the shingles did not get into my eye, just on my eyelid.

I also saw my physician, who recommended I get the shingles vaccine in February 2021. My eye doctor disagrees and said to wait six to nine months. What is the recommended time span between the onset of shingles and getting the vaccine? How long does the vaccine protect someone? Once you have the vaccine, can you ever get shingles again? L.H.

ANSWER: Both your doctors are right. Your regular doctor who recommended a four-month time span is correct, but your eye doctor, who said six to nine months, is right also. In fact, the vaccine may be given at any time after the shingles lesions are healed . Getting shingles again within a year is very unlikely, so it is fine to wait up to a year after the bout of shingles.

The length of protection seems to be long. But this is still a new vaccine, and it is unclear how long the protection will last.

* * *

Shingles Vaccination What You Should Know:

How Long Can You Wait To Get Second Shingles Shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends shingles vaccine for people 60 years of age and older. This is a one-time vaccination to prevent shingles. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.

Anyone 60 years of age or older should get the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember getting the disease.

Your risk for getting shingles begins to rise around age 50. However, shingles vaccine is only recommended for persons age 60 and older because the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine have only been studied in this age group.

Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your healthcare provider. Generally, a person should make sure that the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.

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Shingles Can Strike Twice Will The Shingles Vaccine Help

No one who has experienced the burning, stabbing, painful misery of shingles wants to think about it again. But they should. Why? Because shingles can strike twice, or rarely, even a third time. A shingles vaccine can reduce the chances of a recurrence.

Theres some disagreement about how often recurrence occurs. In one study, researchers examined medical records of nearly 1,700 patients who had a documented case of shingles between 1996 and 2001. They found that more than 5% of these patients were treated for a second episode within an average of eight years. Thats about as likely as getting shingles in the first place if youre age 60 or older. Other studies have shown the recurrence rate to be much lower.

But the bottom line is the same: having shingles once doesnt protect you from ever having it again.

How Can I Take Care Of Myself

  • Take a pain-relief medicine such as acetaminophen. Take other medicine as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • Put cool, moist washcloths on the rash.
  • Rest in bed during the early stages if you have fever and other symptoms.
  • Try not to let clothing or bed linens rub against the rash and irritate it.
  • You develop worsening pain or fever.
  • You develop a severe headache, stiff neck, hearing loss, or changes in your ability to think.
  • The blisters show signs of bacterial infection, such as increasing pain or redness, or milky yellow drainage from the blister sites.
  • The blisters are close to the eyes or you have pain in your eyes or trouble seeing.
  • You have trouble walking.

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