Does The Shingles Vaccine Contain Pork Gelatine
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.
Dr Roach: How Long After Shingles Can A Person Get Vaccinated
Dear Dr. Roach: I am 81 years old and was diagnosed with shingles at the end of October 2020. After taking famciclovir, I am healing, but still have a scaly rash and shooting pains on the right side of my head where the shingles occurred. I was told that the pain could last for a year or more. Is this true? The initial outbreak was on my scalp, forehead, brow and eye area. I did see my ophthalmologist and was fortunate that the shingles did not get into my eye, just on my eyelid.
I also saw my physician, who recommended I get the shingles vaccine in February 2021. My eye doctor disagrees and said to wait six to nine months. What is the recommended time span between the onset of shingles and getting the vaccine? How long does the vaccine protect someone? Once you have the vaccine, can you ever get shingles again?
Dear L.H.: Both your doctors are right. Your regular doctor who recommended a four-month time span is correct, but your eye doctor, who said six to nine months, is right also. In fact, the vaccine may be given at any time after the shingles lesions are healed . Getting shingles again within a year is very unlikely, so it is fine to wait up to a year after the bout of shingles.
The length of protection seems to be long. But this is still a new vaccine, and it is unclear how long the protection will last.
What If I Wait Too Long To Take The Second Dose Will I Need To Restart The Vaccination Process
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that if more than six 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 four weeks after the first dose, it should not be counted. You should get the follow-up dose at least two months after the first dose.
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If I’ve Had Shingles Already Can I Still Have The Shingles Vaccine
If you have had shingles before, you can still have the shingles vaccine. Your natural immunity is boosted by having shingles, but it is uncertain how long your immunity will last. If you have had shingles within the past year, your chances of getting shingles again soon is reduced, so it’s recommended that you wait at least 1 year before getting the shingles vaccine.
Administration With Other Vaccines
CDC general recommendations advise that recombinant and adjuvanted vaccines, such as Shingrix, can be administered concomitantly, at different anatomic sites, with other adult vaccines. Concomitant administration of Shingrix with Fluarix Quadrivalent has been studied, and there was no evidence for interference in the immune response to either vaccine or safety concerns. Evaluation of co-administration of Shingrix with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine, Adsorbed is ongoing. The safety and efficacy of administration of two adjuvanted vaccines , either concomitantly or at other intervals, have not been evaluated.
Shingrix and pneumococcal vaccine may be administered at the same visit if the person is eligible for both. When both pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV13 and PPSV23 are recommended for an adult, PCV13 should always be administered first and may be administered concomitantly with Shingrix.
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How Effective Is The Shingles Vaccine
Having the shingles vaccine reduces your risk of getting shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia, but the effect of the vaccine differs by age and time since vaccination. Age at which you get vaccinatedThe shingles vaccine is most effective at preventing shingles in people aged 5059 years and becomes less effective as you get older. It is effective in about 5 in 10 people aged 6569 years and about 4 in 10 people aged 80 years or older. Times since vaccinationProtection from the shingles vaccine wears off over time. The highest protection against shingles is during the first year after receiving the vaccine. By 6 years after being vaccinated, protection is very low. Booster dosesThere is no information about whether a booster dose of the shingles vaccine provides any benefit. Although there are no recommendations, adults who have previously received the shingles vaccine can receive a second dose after 1 year. There are no safety concerns about receiving a second dose.
Are Chickenpox And Shingles Serious Illnesses
The symptoms may be more severe in newborns, persons with weakened immune systems, and adults. Serious problems can occur and may include pneumonia , brain infection , and kidney problems. Many people are not aware that before a vaccine was available, approximately 10,600 persons were hospitalized, and 100 to 150 died, as a result of chickenpox in the U.S. every year.
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Why You Should Get The Shingles Vaccine Soon
If you’re a healthy adult age 50 or above, you should get vaccinated against shingles, medical experts say. The vaccine is Shingrix, which is highly effective at preventing shingles and its serious and painful complications.
Here’s why older and not-so-old adults get the Shingrix vaccine — despite reports of injection discomfort — and why experts strongly recommend taking this step to protect yourself from shingles.
Nearly one in three people in the U.S. develops shingles at some point, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with an estimated 1 million people diagnosed with shingles yearly. Pain, rash, itching and first fluid-filled, then eventually crusting blisters, are hallmark shingles symptoms. Some people become hypersensitive to touch or light, and experience headaches and fevers.
Shingles pain tends to come first, ranging from mild to intense. Pain is usually most severe in the first one or two weeks, sometimes making it difficult to work, sleep and perform daily tasks. People may need prescription pain medicine when shingles is at its worst.
The shingles rash of reddish-purple clusters tends to show up on one side of the back, chest or abdomen. Typically, shingles looks like stripes across the skin. This pattern corresponds to areas known as dermatomes. A dermatome is an isolated skin section that receives sensation from a single nerve. Shingles usually affects one or a few adjacent dermatomes.
How Often Does Shingles Return
Experts don’t know exactly how many people get shingles more than once. They do know it comes back more often in people with weakened immune systems.
If your immune system is healthy:
- In the first several years, your chances of having shingles again are lower than it is for people who have never had shingles.
- Over time, your chances of a second bout go up. One study found that within 7 years, the odds of getting it again may be almost 5%. That’s about the same as the odds of getting shingles the first time.
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About Dr Janna Lachtchinina
Dr. Janna Lachtchinina received her medical degree from one of the top universities in Russia and completed her training at a George Washington University affiliated hospital. She is board certified in internal medicine and is focused on treating chronic medical conditions as well as acute disease management and preventive healthcare.
Learn more about Dr. Goswami and Dr. Lachtchinina by visiting .
How Safe Is Shingrix
The FDA has approved Shingrix for preventing shingles in adults ages 50 and older. The results of several studies showed that Shingrix was safe and effective.
There have been concerns about ingredients, such as thimerosal, that may be added to vaccines. Thimerosal is a kind of preservative that contains mercury. Its added then taken out of some vaccines to keep other germs and bacteria from growing. The concern arose when early research connected thimerosal to autism. This link has since been found to be false. Shingrix doesnt contain thimerosal.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles
Early symptoms of shingles may include:
Other signs and symptoms appearing a few days after the early symptoms include:
- An itching, tingling or burning feeling in an area of skin.
- Redness in the skin in the affected area.
- Raised rash in a small area of skin.
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open then scab over.
- Mild to severe pain in the area of skin affected.
What Are The Main Causes Of Shingles
If you are currently experiencing a shingles outbreak, its natural to question and want to know what caused it.
Besides the herpes zoster virus being reactivated in your system, other more complicated, less well-known triggers for the virus include:
- the decline in your immune systems response, a natural part of aging
- procedures, such as organ transplants, that require the use of immunosuppressant medication
- autoimmune conditions, such as Crohns disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis
- immunosuppressant treatments, such as chemotherapy, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatory medications
Whether you suspect that you have shingles, COVID-19, or both, seek medical attention immediately if you notice one or more of the following:
- a temperature of 103°F or higher
- difficulty breathing
- skin or lips that are turning pale or bluish
- persistent pain or pressure in your chest
- confusion or feeling disoriented
- a rash near your eye
If you have a compromised immune system, are pregnant, or are over age 65 years, see a doctor right away if you suspect you have COVID-19 orshingles regardless of your specific symptoms.
Shingles is typically treated with antiviral medication. The earlier you get a confirmed diagnosis, the more effective the medication will be at managing your symptoms.
Acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are antiviral medications that may be prescribed to treat a shingles outbreak.
Other treatments for shingles include:
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What Is Shingrix The New Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late 2017, is more likely to cause short-term side effects than either Zostavax or other vaccines for adults, said Dr. Kathleen Dooling, a medical officer in the division of viral diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the important things is to go into this vaccination knowing that youll probably have some side effects after and be prepared for those, Dooling told TODAY.
The advice weve been giving people is that if you plan to get the vaccine, in the day or two afterwards, dont plan any big, strenuous activities. For example, dont plan a big gardening project… dont plan your big golf game for that period.
Mild Side Effects Of Shingles Vaccine:
- Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection .
- Headache .
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 websiteexternal icon, 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.
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What To Know About The Shingles Vaccine
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.
Ask The Expert: Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine
If you suffered through chickenpox as a child, there is no doubt that you never want to experience that type of discomfort again. While its rare to get chickenpox twice, for many the chickenpox virus reappears years later in the form of another painful disease: shingles. In fact, there are approximately one million new cases of shingles each year. Drs. Alpana Goswami and Janna Lachtchinina, board certified internists, discuss the facts about shingles and the benefits of the shingles vaccine.
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Where Does Shingles Come From
When you have chickenpox as a child, your body fights off the varicella-zoster virus and the physical signs of chickenpox fade away, but the virus always remains in your body. In adulthood, sometimes the virus becomes active again. This time, the varicella-zoster virus makes its second appearance in the form of shingles.
Do You Always Get The Typical Rash If You Have Shingles
Occasionally some patients dont get the rash. If you have any of the other symptoms of shingles , see your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. There are effective treatments that can be given early in the disease. If it turns out you dont have shingles, seeing your healthcare provider allows any condition that you do have to be discovered and treated early in its course.
The shingles rash appears on the abdomen and face, neck and shoulders.
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