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How Long Does Shingles Vaccine Take To Be Effective

How Effective Is The Shingles Vaccine In Preventing Shingles

What Are Side Effects of the Shingles Vaccine? A Doctor Explains

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.

How Long Does Covid Immunity Last With The New Bivalent Booster

In anticipation of a fall and winter surge in COVID cases, new bivalent booster shots are available to anyone older than 12 .

The latest jab protects against the highly transmissible omicron variant while also bumping up protection against the original strain of COVID-19.

If you are at least two months out from your last COVID vaccine or a COVID infection, you can get the booster now. If you were just recently vaccinated or infected, your timeline is a little different.

Either way, its important to get this new COVID shot, which can prevent you from severe outcomes, including hospitalization or death, throughout the fall and winter seasons. Just how long will this new shot protect you overall, though? Experts weigh in.

Can Shingrix Cause A Rash

Its unlikely that a Shingrix injection will cause a rash. But note that an injection site reaction is different from a shingles rash.

A shingles rash, which is caused by shingles itself, is often painful. It commonly appears as blisters around the torso, neck, or face.

People who received Shingrix in didnt report shingles-like rashes.

However,

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Experts Have No Reason To Believe Immunity Wanes Any Faster Than With Previous Boosters So It Could Last Four To Six Months

Just how long youre protected after a COVID booster shot varies from person to person, and it has also rapidly changed as new COVID mutations emerge that can evade antibodies. But generally after previous COVID shots, you were protected for about four to six months.

Both Pekosz and Dr. Benjamin Abramoff, On/Go medical adviser and founder and director of Penn Medicines Post-COVID Assessment and Recovery Clinic, said there is no reason to believe your immunity will wane any sooner after this new booster.

Everything we know about boosters for COVID, as well as for other vaccines, is that youll strengthen the long-term immunity the memory immunity with a booster, Pekosz said.

In other words, youre adding on to the immunity you already have from the original vaccine series, the booster, and, for many people, from prior COVID infections, too.

The next time your body sees the virus, youll develop a faster and stronger immune response, Pekosz said. Thats a principle that has shown to be true with other , and we assume therefore it will be true for this as well.

This memory immunity also contributes to how quickly youre protected after vaccination, too. Pekosz said that 10 to 14 days after you get this booster, your antibodies should fully kick in.

Reasons To Get The Shingles Vaccine

RxFiles Q& As

Once a person develops chickenpox after contracting the varicella-zoster virus, the virus never leaves the body. It remains dormant in the nerve roots and can reappear as shingles later in life.

The primary symptom of shingles is a painful rash on one side of the body, most often on the torso or face. People initially have pain or a burning sensation on the skin without a rash, and then painful blisters develop. The rash lasts approximately seven to 10 days and fully clears within two to four weeks.

The likelihood of developing shingles increases dramatically after age 50. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults age 50 and over receive two doses of Shingrix to prevent shingles. The vaccine is recommended even if a person is unsure if they have ever had chickenpox.

People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for shingles. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration also recently approved Shingrix vaccination for adults age 18 and older who are at risk for shingles due to immunodeficiency or immunosuppression caused by an underlying disease or medication.

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Mild Side Effects Of Shingles Vaccine:

  • Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection .

It is safe to be around infants and young children, pregnant women, or people with weakened immune systems after you get the shingles vaccine. There is no documentation of a person getting chickenpox from someone who has received the shingles vaccine .

Some people who get the shingles vaccine will develop a chickenpox-like rash near the place where they were vaccinated. As a precaution, this rash should be covered until it disappears.

Like all vaccines, shingles vaccine is being closely monitored for unusual or severe problems by CDC and FDA.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination. If you have a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that cant wait, call 9-1-1 or get the person to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.

Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS website, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

The shingles vaccine does not contain thimerosal .

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

For more information on possible side effects from vaccination, visit CDCs Possible Side Effects from Vaccines page.

What Are The Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine

Just like with any other medication or vaccine, there is always a risk of potential side effects or allergic reactions. The shingles vaccine, however, is considered to be safe and poses a small risk of side effects.

  • The Zostavax shingles vaccine may cause:
  • Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection, or
  • The Shingrix shingles vaccine may cause:
  • Soreness, mild or moderate pain, or redness and swelling in the injected arm,
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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.

    Shingrix Is Not A Live Vaccine

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    A live vaccine is one that contains a weakened form of a germ. Shingrix is not a live vaccine. Its an inactive vaccine, which is a vaccine thats made from a germ thats been killed.

    Because Shingrix is inactive, more people can receive it. This includes people with a weakened immune system .

    People with weakened immune systems are typically advised against receiving live vaccines. This is because on very rare occasions, live vaccines can mutate back to the full-strength germ that causes a disease.

    If this happens, people with weakened immune systems would have a much higher risk for developing the disease that the vaccine is meant to prevent.

    Shingrix is also a recombinant vaccine. This means that its made of parts of the shingles virus, such as protein, sugar, or capsid .

    There used to be an alternative shingles vaccine to Shingrix. This other vaccine was called Zostavax.

    Like Shingrix, it was approved to prevent shingles . However, Zostavax is

    Below, we briefly describe the similarities and differences between these two vaccines.

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    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.

    Zostavax And The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

    The Summary of Product Characteristics for Zostavax, the shingles vaccine used in the UK, states that the vaccine should not be given at the same time as the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine . This is because a clinical trial by the manufacturer had suggested this might make Zostavax less effective. However, the Department of Health advice is that the two vaccines can be given at the same time. This is based on expert advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation , and on research that showed no evidence that people receiving both vaccines together had any increased risk of developing shingles. Read the abstract of the 2011 study by Tseng et al .

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    Shingles Vaccine And Insurance

    Private health insurance plans often cover vaccination costs. Still, a patient might have a charge depending on the specific insurance plan.

    Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine cost.Medicare Part D plans cover the shingles vaccine, but there may be a cost to the patient depending on the plan. Usually, the fees are less than $50 per dose.

    Medicare Part B does not cover the shingles vaccine.

    When To See A Doctor For The Possible Side Effects Of A Shingle Vaccine

    Shingles Vaccination

    Most side effects of the shingles vaccine will resolve on their own within a few days of vaccination or can be treated with over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

    In the rare case that you develop a more serious reaction after vaccination, you should call a doctor or go to a health clinic.

    Medical emergency

    Its rare but possible to have a serious allergic reaction to a shingles vaccine. Call emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room if you experience the following symptoms after a vaccination:

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    Are There Any Reasons I Shouldn’t Have The Shingles Vaccine

    You shouldn’t have the shingles vaccine if:

    • you’ve had a severe reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
    • you’ve had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine

    If you don’t have a severely weakened immune system, the shingles vaccine you’ll be offered contains a small trace of pork gelatine.

    Gelatine is a common and essential ingredient in many medicines, including some vaccines.

    Many faith groups, including Muslim and Jewish communities, have approved the use of gelatine-containing vaccines. It is, however, an individual choice whether or not to receive the shingles vaccine.

    Does The Vaccine Work

    In December 2017 Public Health England published an evaluation of the first three years of the shingles vaccination programme in England . This showed that the shingles vaccine was 62% effective against shingles and 70 to 88% effective against post-herpetic neuralgia in this period. Public Health England estimates that there were 17000 fewer GP consultations for shingles than expected in this 3-year period.

    In the early 2000s researchers carried out a very large study of Zostavax, the shingles vaccine used in the UK, involving over 38,000 adults aged 60 or older. The results showed that:

    • In adults aged between 60 and 70, the vaccine reduced the number of cases of shingles by 51.3%
    • In adults aged over 70, the vaccine reduced the number of cases of shingles by 38%
    • The vaccine reduced the incidence of post-herpetic neuralgia by over 66% in all age groups
    • For those who did get shingles, the vaccine reduced the severity of the disease.

    Read the abstract of this study , published in 2005 by Oxman et al.

    Adults aged 80 or over are not offered the shingles vaccine. This is because the effectiveness of the vaccine declines with age in older age groups.

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    Who Is Eligible For The Vaccine

    People aged 70 years of age are eligible for the vaccine.

    The vaccine is also available for those previously eligible but who missed immunisation. For example, anyone in their 70s who has not yet had the vaccine.

    You become eligible for the shingles vaccine as you turn 70 and remain eligible up to the age of 79.

    People under 70 years of age are at lower risk of shingles but will become eligible for the vaccine when they turn 70. People aged 80 years and over are not eligible for the shingles vaccination because the vaccine becomes less effective as people get older. If you are worried about shingles speak to your GP.

    Why More Adults Arent Getting The Super

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    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.

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    How Long Shingles Lasts And How Serious It Can Be

    The rash usually appears a few days after the initial pain and tingling, and lasts for about a week. The older you are, the more likely you are to have long-lasting pain. Sometimes shingles develops in the eye and may also affect the eyelid.

    This can cause severe pain and lead to decreased vision or even permanent blindness in that eye. Most people recover fully, but for some, the pain goes on for several months or even years this is called post-herpetic neuralgia .

    This is a particularly unpleasant condition with severe burning, throbbing or stabbing nerve pain. The vaccine reduces the risk of getting shingles and PHN. Even if you still get shingles, the symptoms may be much reduced.

    Vaccination Can Prevent A Painful Shingles Infection

    Shingrix, the newest shingles vaccine, is more than 90 percent effective in preventing shingles, post herpetic neuralgia and other associated complications. It has proven to be more effective than the previously used single-dose vaccine which was only 51 percent effective. A physician order is required but the vaccine itself can be administered at most retail pharmacies.

    The vaccine is a two-shot series, with the second shot being given two to six months after the first. Doctors recommend that all adults 50 years and older, without contraindications, receive the vaccine, even if they have had shingles and/or received the previous one-dose vaccine.

    Those who are immunocompromised or expect to be immunocompromised for example, those starting long-term steroid treatment or cancer treatment or preparing for organ transplant should be vaccinated earlier ideally 19 years of age or older.

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    Who Is A Candidate For The Shingles Vaccine

    Healthy adults aged 50 years and older are candidates for the shingles vaccine Shingrix. There is no age limit, and you can get the Shingrix vaccine even if you have already had shingles, have had the Zostavax vaccine, or do not remember whether you have had chickenpox in the past.

    If you have already had shingles, getting the Shingrix can help protect you from the disease coming back. Studies have reported that almost every American aged 40 years and older have more than a 99% chance of having had chickenpox, and people who have had chickenpox are more likely to develop shingles in the future because both are caused by the same virusthe varicella-zoster virus.

    After having shingles, there is no duration that you need to wait before getting vaccinated, although you should wait until the rash has completely disappeared. Shringrix is given in 2 doses 2-6 months apart.

    Side effects are usually mild and may last for two to three days. No severe side effects for Shingrix have been reported so far.

    What Does The Shingles Vaccine Do

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    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.

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