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How Many Shingles Vaccines Are There

Does Shingrix Require 2 Shots

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Shingrix is an intramuscular injection requiring 2 injections, with the second dose given 2 to 6 months after the first. In those who are immunodeficient or immunosuppressed and require a shorter vaccination schedule, the second dose can be administered 1 to 2 months after the first dose.

Temporary injection site pain was reported in 78% of those receiving Shingrix, as expected with an intramuscular injection.

Related: FDA Requires a Warning about Guillain-Barré Syndrome for Shingrix

This is not all the information you need to know about Shingrix or Zostavax for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full product information, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.

Should I Get A Vaccine

Doctors say most healthy people over 50 should get Shingrix, as well as anyone 19 or older who are immunocompromised. Itâs available at pharmacies as well as doctorsâ offices. Most people have been exposed to the chickenpox even if they didnât actually develop symptoms.

You should get the Shingrix vaccine unless:

  • You are allergic to any part of the vaccine
  • Had a blood test that proves you never had chicken pox
  • Have shingles now
  • Are breastfeeding or nursing.

How Long After Ive Received The Shingles Vaccine Am I Contagious

With the currently authorized shingles vaccine, Shingrix, you wont be contagious. The old vaccine, Zostavax, used a weakened form of the live varicella-zoster virus. Therefore, people worried about spreading the disease to the people around them.

Shingrix doesnt use a live version of the varicella-zoster virus. It is inactivated, which means it uses a dead version of the virus. Therefore, you have no risk of transmitting the disease to anyone.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

No one likes to get shots, especially for something youve already been vaccinated for. But the newer version of the shingles vaccine is one youll want to offer up your arm for. The Shingrix vaccine is more than 90% effective at helping you prevent shingles. Since most of us have had chickenpox in the past, the shingles vaccine is an easy way to prevent the dormant chickenpox virus from creeping up and hitting you again with shingles.

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Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine: Is It Safe

Shingles is a painful rash caused by varicella zoster, the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus hasnt completely gone away. It hides dormant in your body and can reemerge many years later as shingles.

About 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. This is why vaccination is important. But you should also be prepared for possible side effects. In this article, well discuss the side effects, and talk about who should get the vaccine.

Older adults are most likely to develop shingles. This is why the shingles vaccine is recommended for people ages 50 and older.

Shingrix is the only shingles vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

The Shingrix vaccine is a recombinant vaccine. This means vaccine manufacturers created it by altering and purifying DNA that creates an immune response to fight the virus.

The CDC recommends Shingrix for the prevention of shingles and related complications. The Shingrix vaccine is also recommended for anyone who has already gotten another type of shingles vaccine.

Currently, the CDC recommends healthy people ages 50 and older get the Shingrix vaccine. Doctors administer the vaccine in two doses, which are given 2 to 6 months apart.

The Shingrix vaccine has high success rates in protecting people against shingles.

The Shingrix vaccine is as much as effective in preventing shingles. The same is true for Shingrix and postherpetic neuralgia.

Weighing The Risks Vs Benefits

shingles

The vaccine to prevent shingles will help you to avoid shingles symptoms, which in most cases are quite mild but may cause intense pain in some people.

Shingles symptoms come in two stages: the prodromal stage and the eruptive stage. In the first stage, your symptoms may include:

About three to five days later, you develop a prickly and painful pimple-like rash. These pimples turn into blisters during this eruptive stage, and your skin may be red and swollen. Shingles sores also can affect your mouth, which is another symptom the vaccine can prevent.

Shingles isn’t generally life-threatening. It can be, though, if your immune system is compromised. During an outbreak and after the rash clears up, some people may experience complications that require immediate medical attention.

Common ones include:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia : Damaged nerves cause lingering pain for three months or more.
  • Bacterial skin infections: When shingles blisters pop, bacteria can get in.
  • Eye damage: One branch of the trigeminal nerve goes to the eye. Damage there can lead to eye damage, which can be severe.

While you may experience side effects with the vaccine, the benefits outweigh the risks of shingles symptoms and complications in most people.

If you were vaccinated with Zostavaxa shingles vaccine that is no longer being givenask your healthcare provider about getting the Shingrix vaccine.

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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 .

Shingrix Is Not A Live Vaccine

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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Who Shouldn’t Get A Shingles Vaccine

The CDC says some people shouldn’t get the shingles vaccine. That includes those who:

  • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix
  • Tested negative for VZV immunity
  • Currently have shingles
  • Have a severe or moderate acute illness, such as a respiratory infection

Your healthcare provider can answer any questions you have about whether the vaccine is safe for you.

Who Needs A Shingles Vaccine

New 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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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.

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.

Read Also: What Is The New Shingles Shot Called

Are Shingrix And Zostavax The Same

Both Shingrix and Zostavax can decrease the risk of shingles. However, they differ in effectiveness, administration, and side effects. Shingrix is a recombinant zoster vaccine and Zostavax is a live vaccine. Meaning, Shingrix contains an inactivated form of the varicella-zoster virus and Zostavax contains a live, weakened form of the virus. Another difference is that Shingrix is injected into the muscle while Zostavax is injected underneath the skin. Compared to Zostavax, Shingrix is a newer shingles vaccine.

If Youre 50 Or Older Get Shingrix

Chickenpox vaccination does increase shingles cases, but mainly in ...
  • Shingrix provides strong protection from shingles and long-term nerve pain.
  • Get Shingrix even if you already had shingles, because you can get the disease more than once.
  • Your risk of shingles and complications increases as you age.
  • You need 2 doses of Shingrix. Get the second dose 2 to 6 months after you get the first dose.

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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.

Warnings Of Shingrix And Zostavax

Shingrix and Zostavax can cause hypersensitivity, or allergic, reactions in those with allergies to vaccine ingredients. Zostavax may cause severe allergic reactions in those with a known allergy to gelatin or neomycin. Severe allergic reactions can lead to severe rash and trouble breathing .

Zostavax should be avoided in those who take immunosuppressive agents and those who are affected by medical conditions that weaken the immune system.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other precautions before getting a shingles vaccine.

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Can I Get Shingrix If Ive Never Had Chickenpox

If youve never had chickenpox , the CDC recommends that you get the chickenpox vaccine instead of Shingrix. Researchers havent studied Shingrix in people who have never had chickenpox. And Shingrix is not approved for preventing chickenpox.

If you cant recall whether youve had chickenpox, you may need to be screened for it. But this will depend on your age.

Its assumed that people born in the United States and elsewhere before 1980 have been exposed to chickenpox. Therefore, you may be able to receive Shingrix. You should check with your doctor first to make sure.

What If I Wait Too Long To Take The Second Shingrix Dose

How Can You Prevent Shingles

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that if more than 6 months have passed since you received your first dose, you should get the second dose as soon as possible. You dont have to start the doses all over again.

Also, if you get the second dose within 4 weeks after the first dose, it should not be counted. You should get your follow-up dose at least 1 to 2 months after the first dose, per your doctors recommendation.

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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

What Is Mrna And What Is An Mrna Vaccine

Messenger RNA is a bit of genetic code that teaches the bodys immune system how to make antigens, which are proteins that prompt an immune system response.

Messenger RNA vaccines carry this code inside a fatty covering that is injected into muscle tissue. If you contract the virus later, your body will already know how to fight it.

BioNTech co-founder Ãzlem Türeci told The Atlantic that mRNA vaccines were like showing our immune system a wanted poster of a foe and instructing the immune system to target that outlaw for destruction.

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What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles.

CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix, as they have a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.

Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.

Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Immunity stays strong for at least the first 7 years after vaccination. In adults with weakened immune systems, studies show that Shingrix is 68%-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the condition that affects the immune system.

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

Age and the Shingles Vaccine

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:

Recommended Reading: How Can You Test For Shingles

More Common Side Effects

The more common side effects of Shingrix can include:

  • pain, redness, and swelling at site of injection*
  • dizziness or fainting
  • flu-like symptoms, including fever, shivering, and tiredness

Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If theyre more severe or dont go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect details below.

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