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How Often Do You Have To Get A Shingles Shot

What Are The Advantages Of Getting The Shingles Vaccine

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

The shingles vaccine reduces your risk of getting shingles. Shingles causes a painful rash that usually develops on one side of your body or face. Some people describe the pain as an intense burning or shooting sensation. The rash is often a single strip that wraps around one side of your body or is on one side of your face. It consists of blisters that normally crust over in seven to 10 days. The rash generally clears up within a month.

Some people with shingles also experience additional symptoms including fever, headache, chills or upset stomach.

For some people, the pain from the rash can last for months or even years after the rash goes away. This long-term pain is called postherpetic neuralgia , and it is the most common complication of shingles.

Who Should Not Get Shingrix

You should not get Shingrix if you:

  • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix.
  • Currently have shingles.
  • Currently are pregnant. Women who are pregnant should wait to get Shingrix.

If you have a minor illness, such as a cold, you may get Shingrix. But if you have a moderate or severe illness, with or without fever, you should usually wait until you recover before getting the vaccine.

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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Will There Be Any Side Effects From The Shingles Vaccination

There are 2 shingles vaccines: Zostavax and Shingrix .

With both vaccines it’s quite common to get redness and discomfort at the vaccination site, headaches and fatigue, but these side effects should not last more than a few days. See a GP if you have side effects that last longer than a few days, or if you develop a rash after having the shingles vaccination.

Read more about the shingles vaccine side effects.

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How Many Doses Of The Vaccine Do I Need

In most cases, the shingles vaccine is given as one dose.

If you have a severely weakened immune system you will be offered a second dose of the vaccine at least 8 weeks after your first dose.

Speak to a healthcare professional about getting other vaccines at the same time so they can advise what’s best for your individual circumstances.

You should ideally wait seven days between the coronavirus vaccination and shingles vaccination.

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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Can The Shingles Shot Cause Guillain

Though rare, but Guillain-Barré syndrome can occur with both the shingles vaccine and the shingles virus itself.

Symptoms of this serious autoimmune disorder include a loss of sensation and muscle paralysis that tends to come on quickly, typically spreading up from your lower extremities.

It can be life-threatening, so contact a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have symptoms.

Skin Care And Itch Relief For Shingles

Shingles Vaccine Info

To relieve itching and discomfort, try:

  • A cool, wet compresses on the affected skin
  • Soothing baths and lotions, such as colloidal oatmeal bath, starch baths, or calamine lotion
  • Zostrix, a cream that contains capsaicin
  • Antihistamines to reduce itching

Keep your skin clean. Throw away bandages you use to cover your skin sores. Throw away or wash in hot water clothing that has contact with your skin sores. Wash your sheets and towels in hot water.

While your skin sores are still open and oozing, avoid all contact with anyone who has never had chickenpox, especially pregnant women.

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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

If Youre 50 Or Older Get Shingrix

  • 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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  • Doesnt absorb easily
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According to WebMD, over the counter cortisone creams are often the first thing doctors recommend for patients suffering from eczema for its ability to quickly quash the itch with anti-inflammatory effects. But long term use of topical cortisone can cause skin thinning, bruising and more, so its worth doing some research before making your choice.

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  • Can cause breakouts

What Are The Pain Complications Of Shingles

Shingles vaccine ( Zostavax ®) is now available at HCMC

Many sufferers have described the pain as extremely severe, and some even require narcotic pain-relief medications.

A blistering rash usually accompanies the outbreak. New blisters continue to appear for several days, and the entire outbreak can take weeks to heal. Blisters may cover the entire path of the affected nerve, or the involvement may be patchy. Involvement of the eyes during a shingles outbreak can be particularly serious, since scarring of the cornea and permanent vision loss can result.

Another debilitating complication of shingles is known as postherpetic neuralgia. In postherpetic neuralgia, the pain of shingles persists even after the rash has healed. The diagnosis is made when pain lasts for over 30 days after an outbreak. This pain can last for weeks, months, or even years. Up to 15% of people with shingles have this persistent pain, and it is not understood why the pain persists in some people, but it is likely that some type of nerve damage or inflammation occurs during the outbreak that leads to continued pain.

Recommended Reading: What Causes The Shingles Virus To Reactivate

When Should You Get Vaccinated Against Shingles

Most people should be vaccinated against shingles at ages 50 and over. People ages 18 and over who have health conditions or take medications that can weaken the immune system should consider getting the shingles vaccine before age 50.

For people receiving the vaccine at ages 50 and over, there is no particular time and no maximum age when you should be vaccinated.

Vaccination against shingles can be done on its own or alongside other vaccinations, like for the flu or pneumonia. Generally, the vaccine is given in two doses, with the second dose given 2 to 6 months after the first dose.

For people who are receiving the shingles vaccine because of an immune deficiency, the second dose can be given sooner: 1 to 2 months after the first dose.

In this case, if possible, shingles vaccination should be timed with your immune response. This could mean waiting until after a flare-up of your condition has subsided or getting the vaccine before you receive certain immune-suppressing medications.

7 years and remains effective afterward.

Speak with a doctor about how often you should be vaccinated for shingles based on your specific immune system and health concerns.

The shingles vaccine that is currently available in the United States was introduced in 2017, so you may have questions about it. Below are answers to some of the most common questions.

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.

Read Also: What Causes Shingles To Occur

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

How Long After Ive Received The Shingles Vaccine Am I Contagious

How Can You Prevent Shingles

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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When They Start How Long They Last

The shingles vaccine is given in a two-shot series. You may experience side effects after the first, second, or both shots. Most of the time, these symptoms are mild and occur immediately following vaccination. They typically only last for two or three days.

Side effects of the shingles vaccine are more common in younger people, and might interrupt your normal daily activities for a few days.

This may seem like a downside of the shingles vaccine, but remember that these symptoms are a result of the creation of a strong shingles defense within your body.

It is OK to take Tylenol or Advil after a shingles vaccine to relieve symptoms. Rest and plenty of fluids may help, too.

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.

Read Also: Does Shingles Shot Have Side Effects

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Tetanus Diphtheria And Pertussis Vaccines

Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are diseases caused by bacteria that can lead to serious illness and death.

  • Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in soil, dust, and manure. It can enter the body through a deep cut or burn.
  • Diphtheria is a serious illness that can affect the tonsils, throat, nose, or skin. It can spread from person to person.
  • Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, causes uncontrollable, violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It can spread from person to person.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Most people get vaccinated as children, but you also need booster shots as you get older to stay protected against these diseases. The CDC recommends that adults get a Tdap or Td booster shot every 10 years. Ask a health care provider when you need your booster shot.

Why Doesnt Having Chickenpox Earlier In Life Provide Immunity Against Having Shingles Later

After having chickenpox, your body does not rid your system of the virus. Instead, the virus stays in a portion of the spinal nerve root called the dorsal root ganglion. In most people, the virus simply stays there quietly and doesnt cause problems. Scientists arent always sure why the virus gets active again, but they know stress can be a cause.

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Over The Counter Treatment For Shingles

Over the counter treatment for shingles involves the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

Over the counter treatment for shingles involves the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

Shingles is a skin problem that is typically caused by the infection of herpes zoster virus. People who have had a history of chickenpox are the ones who actually develop this infection. This is because the reason behind the onset of chickenpox and shingles is no different. The virus that triggers chickenpox symptoms is the one that strikes again to cause shingles, and is typically marked by the development of an itchy rash, usually in the chest and the upper back area. The blisters forming a band like pattern is the characteristic feature of a shingles rash. The affected area typically causes radiating pain that generally lasts till the duration of the viral infection. The infection generally goes within a months time, but how does one make the pain more manageable during this time is often a cause for concern for all shingles patients. The answer to this question is discussed below:

Recommended Reading: Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine

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