Wednesday, April 17, 2024

How Often Does One Need The Shingles Vaccine

When They Start How Long They Last

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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.

What Are The Best Over

As mentioned above, antiviral medications are prescription medications. Therefore, over-the-counter creams do not provide any antiviral activity, but they primarily work to relieve redness, pain, and itching symptoms. Topical creams containing lidocaine, capsaicin, or calamine may be helpful. Alternative treatments that can be topically applied include witch hazel cream, essential oils, manuka or clover honey, and chlorophyll. It is advised that you check with your doctor to make sure that these will not interact negatively with your existing medication before applying them.

Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine

Some people shouldnt get the shingles vaccine. These people include those:

  • Who currently have shingles.
  • Who have had a severe allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine in the past.
  • Who have tested negative for immunity to the varicella-zoster virus, meaning youve never had chickenpox. If youve never had chickenpox, you should get the chickenpox vaccine.
  • Who are ill. You should wait until your illness has passed before receiving the shingles vaccine.
  • Who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine

We recommend that if youre 50 years old or older, you should get the vaccineregardless of whether or not you remember having chickenpox because 99 percent of adults 40 and older have had chickenpox, although some may not remember having the disease, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control.

If youve already had shingles, getting the vaccine can help you prevent getting the disease again in the future, although you should wait to be sure your shingles rash has disappeared completely before getting the vaccine.

The vaccine does not guarantee that youll never get shingles, but it can reduce the severity of it if you get it.

What To Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Measles Vs Chicken Pox Difference

Who needs it? The CDC recommends that everyone 50 and older get Shingrix, even if they had the earlier recommended vaccine Zostavax, or if theyve already had a bout of shingles. Older adults should also get this vaccine, whether or not they remember having had chickenpox as a child. Why? More than 99 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have been exposed to the varicella-zoster virus, even if they dont recall getting chickenpox.

How often? The CDC recommends that older adults, as described above, get this vaccine, which is given in two doses spaced two to six months apart. But it remains to be seen if the agency will recommend that older adults get it again, say, after its effectiveness starts to wane four years after their first inoculation.

Why you need it: 1 in 3 people will get painful, occasionally debilitating shingles, usually after age 50, and the risk increases with age. By age 85, half of adults will have experienced at least one outbreak.

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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.

Can You Get Multiple Vaccines At Once

The technical term for getting multiple vaccines together is “vaccine co-administration.” Medical professionals say the answer to whether this is a good idea depends largely on your age and health status, the vaccines you’re considering, how urgent the need is to start building protection, and personal preferences.

As a general rule, there are very few vaccines that can’t be co-administered, says L.J Tan, MS, PhD, an infectious disease specialist and the chief policy and partnership officer at the Immunization Action Coalition in St. Paul, MN. However, Dr. Tan says, there are some vaccines that definitely don’t belong togetheradding that when vaccines are co-administered, they should go in different anatomic sites . “It can be in the same arm if they are spaced an inch apart,” he says.

This allows your doctor or pharmacist to identify which vaccine caused a reaction, should one occur.

Here, medical pros and researchers list which vaccines can be given at the same time, and which can’t.

Beat the upcoming flu season with daily health and wellness updates in Readers Digestnewsletter

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Can You Get Them All At The Same Time Yes

If you are coming in for your third or fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and haven’t had your flu or pneumonia shots yet, you can get them all at the same time.

“Get the more reactive one in one arm and the flu and pneumonia vaccines spaced an inch on the other arm,” Dr. Tan says. “Yes, both arms may hurt, but this is a small price to pay for protection against three deadly diseases,” he notes.

Get the best protection this season and avoid these 8 mistakes that can mess up your flu shot

How Do I Get The Shingles Vaccination

Should you get the new vaccine for shingles?

Once you become eligible for the shingles vaccination, a GP or practice nurse will offer you the vaccine when you attend the surgery for general reasons.

You can have a shingles vaccine at the same time as most other vaccines. But try to leave 7 days between the shingles vaccine and a coronavirus vaccine, so that if you have any side effects you’ll know which vaccine they were from.

If you are worried that you may miss out on the shingles vaccination, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment to have the vaccine.

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Research Into Mrna Vaccines For Shingles

Several companies are researching the potential use of mRNA vaccines for shingles. Pfizer and BioNTech are partnering on an mRNA shingles vaccine just as they did with vaccines for the flu and COVID-19.

A major advantage to the technology is the ability to develop new vaccines quickly. The fact that mRNA vaccines are synthetic and dont rely on actual virus particles also means they can be quickly produced in large numbers.

While the Shingrix vaccination is considered safe, the FDA has confirmed a link between Shingrix and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Phasing out the old vaccine with the introduction of a new one, as the FDA did when Shingrix replaced Zostavax, might eliminate this potential issue.

Pfizer and BioNTech hope to begin clinical trials later this year.

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Whats The Difference Between Cream Lotion And Ointment

Ointments, lotions, and creams are three types of substances you can apply to your skin to help manage shingles.

These topicals are similar, but there are slight differences in their makeup. The primary difference is the amount of water and oil they contain.

According to this 2016 primer, creams are made up of about equal parts oil and water and often have moisturizing properties. Theyre thicker than lotions but thinner than ointments.

Lotions are similar to creams, but they are made up mostly of water. They have less oil and have a thinner consistency. Because theyre thinner, your skin absorbs them more quickly. Some lotions are oil-free.

Ointments are the thickest of the three. They are made to stay on top of your skin instead of being absorbed immediately. Ointments are made up of at least 80 percent oil.

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What Else To Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Ready to get vaccinated? This is the essential info on how the shots are given, what to expect with side effects, and more.

You need two doses of Shingrix to get full protection from shingles. You should get your second dose 2 to 6 months after the first. Your doctor or pharmacist will inject the vaccine into the muscle of your upper arm, so wear clothes that give easy access to that area.

If it has been more than 6 months since you got your first dose, go ahead and get your second dose. You donât need to start over, Dooling says.

Because Shingrix is so new, experts arenât sure whether youâll eventually need another shot, or a booster, years down the road.

âThe CDC is actively following how protected people remain after the two-dose series,â she says. We know that after 4 years, protection remains above 85%. Only time will tell how durable that protection is.â

You do not have to wait between Shingrix and COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC has determined its safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as Shingrex, but recommends they be given in different arms. You should not get eithe vaccine if you have COVID.

Side effects are fairly common. You may have heard that people sometimes have unpleasant side effects soon after they get the shingles vaccine.

âShingrix tends to have has more side effects than some vaccines, like those for the seasonal flu,â says Kistler. The shingles vaccine may cause:

How Is Shingles Spread

How often do you need to renew a flu shot?

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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Figure Out Whats Triggering Your Itch

Summer brings out poison ivy and other itch-inducing plants, lots of bugs, and, of course, sunburn, says Jessica Krant, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City and a dermatologist in private practice in Manhattan. With these, its easy to pinpoint the problem.

But other causes of itching may not be so obvious. Fungal infections and contact allergies are common in warmer weather. And though dry skin is a far more frequent problem in the winter months, it can crop up now as well.

If youre unsure why youre itching or youre extremely uncomfortableunable to sleep through the night because of the need to scratch, for instancecheck in with your doctor.

Itching is one of the most common complaints in visits to a dermatologist, but itching is caused by so many different things its hard to have one set protocol or method for addressing it, Krant says. A careful history and physical exam by the dermatologist can go a long way in identifying the true cause and fixing it as fast as possible.

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Which Type Should People With Diabetes Get

There used to be two shingles vaccines available in the United States: Zostavax and Shingrix. As of November 2020, Zostavax is no longer available in the United States. Shingrix, however, is safe and effective. The Shingrix vaccine is given in two doses two to six months apart.

People who previously got the Zostavax vaccine should now get the Shingrix vaccine. Zostavax was much less effective at preventing shingles than Shingrix, and what protection Zostavax gave waned within five years. Talk to a healthcare provider about getting Shingrix if you had Zostavax.

Home Remedies And Lifestyle

New CDC guidelines for shingles and pneumonia vaccines

In addition to triggering the uncomfortable rash, shingles can cause symptoms that are similar to those of other viral infections.

Shingles can make you feel feverish, tired, and generally unwell.

While prescription and over-the-counter drugs can help, one of the most important things you can do while dealing with it is to take good care of yourself. If youâre caring for someone else who has shingles, lavish them with TLC.

Laura Porter / Verywell

Some specific strategies can help ease the pain:

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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

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Can You Get Them At The Same Time Not Advisable

Shingles, a painful rash caused by a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, is preventable. The CDC recommends that anyone over 50 get two doses of the shingles vaccine.

Dr. Horovitz isn’t a fan of combining a shingles shot with any other type of vaccine. “Ten percent of people will be really sick from a shingles shot, and their arm will really hurt, so I don’t like to layer shingles vaccines,” he says.

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Who Should Not Get Shingrix

Tetanus

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.

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What Are The Advantages Of Getting The Shingles Vaccine

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.

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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.

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