What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine
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.
What Illnesses Does Varicella
Chickenpox first occurs as a blister-like skin rash and fever. It takes from 10-21 days after exposure for someone to develop chickenpox. The sores commonly occur in batches with different stages present at the same time. The blisters usually scab over in 5 days. A person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. Children with weakened immune systems may have blisters occurring for a prolonged time period. Adults can develop severe pneumonia and other serious complications.
Shingles occurs when the virus, which has been inactive for some time, becomes active again. Severe pain and numbness along nerve pathways, commonly on the trunk or on the face, are present. Clusters of blisters appear 1 to 5 days later. The blisters are usually on one side of the body and closer together than in chickenpox. Shingles does not spread as shingles from one person to another. If people who have never had chickenpox come in contact with the fluid from shingles blisters, they can develop chickenpox.
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 Not Get A Shingles Vaccine
If your immune system is weakened for any reason, or if you have tuberculosis, you should not get a shingles vaccine. Its also not recommended if youre getting radiation or chemotherapy, or if youve had leukemia or lymphoma.
Those who are pregnant should not receive the shingles vaccine, and women should not plan on conceiving for at least three months after receiving the shot.
Some people may be allergic to some of the ingredients in the vaccine, such as gelatin. If youre not sure, or if you have any concerns, just speak with us. Well be glad to provide details to help you make the right decision.
I’m Pregnant And Have Recently Been Exposed To Someone With Chickenpox How Will This Exposure Affect Me Or My Pregnancy
- Susceptible pregnant women are at risk for associated complications when they contract varicella. Varicella infection causes severe illness in pregnant women, and 10%-20% of those infected develop varicella pneumonia, with mortality reported as high as 40%.
- Because of these risks, pregnant women without evidence of immunity to varicella who have been exposed to the virus may be given varicella-zoster immune globulin to reduce their risk of disease complications.
- If you are pregnant and have never had chickenpox, and you get chickenpox during the:
- First half of your pregnancy, there is a very slight risk for birth defects or miscarriage.
- Second half of your pregnancy, the baby may have infection without having any symptoms and then get shingles later in life.
- Newborns whose mothers develop varicella rash from 5 days before to 2 days after delivery are at risk for neonatal varicella, associated with mortality as high as 30%. These infants should receive preventive treatment with varicella-zoster immune globulin .
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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.
Is The Shingles Vaccine Covered By Insurance
The shingles vaccine may be covered by insurance depending upon the insurance program:
- Medicare: Medicare Part D covers shingles vaccine expenses, but it depends on the plan. You may need to pay either in part or full and then get it reimbursed. Medicare part B does not cover the vaccine.
- Medicaid: Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine. You can find out by contacting your insurer.
- Private health insurance: Most private health insurance programs cover the shingles vaccine, but you may need to pay some part of the expenses depending on your plan.
- Vaccine assistance program: Check with the Shingrix manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, if they have a Shingrix vaccine assistance program. Through vaccine assistance programs, people who cannot afford the vaccine can get help in the form of free vaccination.
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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.
New Data Show Shingrix Can Provide At Least 10 Years Of Protection Against Shingles In Adults Aged 50 Years And Over
Issued: London UK
For media and investors only
- Overall, the clinical benefit was sustained through the current follow-up period of up to 10 years after vaccination in adults aged 50 years and over
- In the primary endpoint, the interim data demonstrated overall efficacy of greater than 80% over the follow-up period of approximately six to 10 years after initial vaccination
- No new safety concerns were identified during the follow-up period
GSK plc today announced positive interim results from the ZOSTER-049 extension study showing that overall Shingrix can provide at least a decade of protection against shingles after initial vaccination. The interim analysis data will be presented on 20 October 2022 at the IDWeek congress in Washington, DC, USA.
These results come from ZOSTER-049 , an extension from two phase III clinical trials ZOE-50 and ZOE-70. From those trials, vaccine efficacy was 97% in adults 50 years and above and 91% in adults 70 years and above over a follow-up period of approximately four years. The ZOE-LTFU study, which follows participants from the ZOE-50 and ZOE-70 clinical trials for an additional six years, is ongoing and will continue to evaluate the longer-term efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of the vaccine.
Shingrix is a non-live, recombinant subunit vaccine which combines a recombinant antigen, glycoprotein E and the adjuvant system, AS01B.,
Important Safety information
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Shingles Vaccination Rate Soars But Leaves Many Behind
By Phil GalewitzJuly 9, 2020
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Why Is It Important To Receive A Vaccination Against Shingles
About 33% of adults in the U.S. will develop shingles at some point in their lives. Shingles can cause painful blisters, a rash, chills, and fever, among other symptoms. Many people who have shingles later develop PHN, which can cause long-lasting pain that is difficult to treat.
Getting the Shingrix vaccine can help individuals avoid shingles and PHN and help prevent shingles from spreading to vulnerable people.
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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.
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.
Is Shingles Contagious
If you have shingles, then you have an active VZV virus, and you can spread this virus to those who have never had chickenpox before . However, this spread is only through direct contact, so you can help reduce the spread of shingles by covering the rash. In addition, those with singles cannot spread the virus before the rash appears.
If someone is infected after coming in contact with the shingles virus, they will develop chickenpox, not shingles.
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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.
Shingrix Vs Zostavax: Differences Similarities And Which Is Better For You
In March 2021, the FDA approved a safety labeling change for Shingrix. The label now contains a warning about a possible increased risk of Guillain-Barré Syndrome with Shingrix. However, the FDA affirms the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks. Read more about the FDA warning here.
In addition, Zostavax has been discontinued in the U.S. as of November 2020. The original post has been preserved for informational purposes only.
Shingrix and Zostavax are vaccines that can be given to prevent herpes zoster, more commonly known as shingles. A shingles vaccine is recommended for adults once they turn 50, and it can help prevent the rash and other complications associated with shingles.
Most people have been infected with the varicella-zoster virus if theyve ever had chickenpox. After chickenpox resolves, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in the body for years, if not forever. Later in life, the virus can reactivate as shingles and cause a painful rash that usually wraps around the face or torso.
Although Shingrix and Zostavax work in similar ways to prevent shingles, there are some important differences between the two.
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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.
Important Facts About Shingles
The virus that causes shingles is the varicella zoster virus , which is the same one that causes chickenpox. After someone recovers from chickenpox and the rash goes away, the VZV virus still remains in the body. It stays dormant, but it is possible for it to reactivate later in a persons life, which is what causes shingles.
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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.
Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Shingrix Vs Zostavax
For adults aged 50 years and older, only plans with Medicare Part D coverage will cover the Shingrix vaccine. However, there may still be a copay even with Medicare Part D coverage. The average cash price for one Shingrix dose is $167, though you may be able to use a prescription discount card to lower this cost. Check with your local pharmacy to see if you can use a Shingrix SingleCare card. Like Shingrix, Zostavax is primarily covered by Medicare Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans with Medicare Part D coverage. The copay for Zostavax with insurance can vary. With an average cash price of $278, Zostavax can be expensive with or without insurance. Using a prescription discount card for Zostavax may be able to reduce this cost.
*not reportedFrequency is not based on data from a head-to-head trial. This may not be a complete list of adverse effects that can occur. Please refer to your doctor or healthcare provider to learn more.Source: DailyMed , DailyMed
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Who Should Get Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix is a recommended vaccine for all adults age 50 years and older. In addition, everyone 19 years and older who have a weak immune system are now recommended to get Shingrix. Please talk with your primary care provider to see if you are eligible to get Shingrix. You can get this vaccine even if you have had shingles, previously received varicella vaccine or if you don’t know if you have had chickenpox in the past.
You can get a shingles vaccine if you have a minor illness, such as a cold. But if you are severely ill or have a temperature above 101.3 degrees, wait until you recover before getting shingles vaccine.