Friday, April 12, 2024

How Soon Should You Get The Second Shingles Shot

Vaccination Can Prevent A Painful Shingles Infection

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Shingrix, the newest shingles vaccine, is more than 90 percent effective in preventing shingles, post herpetic neuralgia and other associated complications. It has proven to be more effective than the previously used single-dose vaccine which was only 51 percent effective. A physician order is required but the vaccine itself can be administered at most retail pharmacies.

The vaccine is a two-shot series, with the second shot being given two to six months after the first. Doctors recommend that all adults 50 years and older, without contraindications, receive the vaccine, even if they have had shingles and/or received the previous one-dose vaccine.

Those who are immunocompromised or expect to be immunocompromised for example, those starting long-term steroid treatment or cancer treatment or preparing for organ transplant should be vaccinated earlier ideally 19 years of age or older.

When To See A Healthcare Provider

For most people, the effects of Shingrix are mild and short-term. In very rare cases, Shingrix can cause more serious side effects.

Seek urgent medical care if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction a few minutes or hours after your second dose of Shingrix, such as:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Facial swelling
  • Swelling in the throat or mouth

You should also let your healthcare provider know if your Shingrix side effects are severe or arent going away on their own.

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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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.

When Should You Get Immunised Against Shingles

how long after covid can i get the vaccine

Anyone aged 60 years and over who wants to protect themselves against shingles can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.

Shingles immunisation is recommended for:

  • adults aged 60 years and over who have not previously received zoster vaccine
  • adults aged 70 years to 79 years, for free under the National Immunisation Program
  • adults aged 50 or over who live in the same household as someone who has a weakened immune system.

Read Also: How Long Are You Contagious With Shingles

Skipping The Second Dose Of The Shingles Vaccine Might Mean You Have Less Protection Against This Painful Rash

Medically reviewed in March 2021

Shingles is a painful condition, and the effects of it can last for months or even years in some cases. Although there is no cure for shingles once you have it, there is a vaccine that prevents shingles in the first place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that healthy adults over the age of 50 get the shingles vaccine. This is true even if youve had shingles in the past, or if you were previously vaccinated with the older shingles vaccine.

The shingles vaccine is administered in two separate dosesonce you receive the first dose, the second should be given 2 to 6 months later. After the second dose, the vaccine is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles, according to the CDC.

Why the second dose matters The shingles vaccine is designed to be given as two doses, not as one. Despite the effectiveness of the vaccine, some people skip their second dose. Some simply forget to follow up and lose track of the appointment date. Others may skip the second dose due to costdepending on your insurance plan, you may be responsible for a co-pay or deductible fee, or you may need to pay for the second dose out of pocket.

Getting the second dose gives you the full protection the vaccine offers. Below are some ways to make sure you get your second dose.

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.

Recommended Reading: First Signs Of Shingles On Stomach

How Do You Catch Shingles

You do not “catch” shingles it comes on when there’s a reactivation of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body.

After you’ve recovered from chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in your nerve cells and can reactivate at a later stage when your immune system is weakened.

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles.

Shingrix Dosage And Schedule

What Are Side Effects of the Shingles Vaccine? A Doctor Explains

Shingrix should be administered to immunocompetent adults aged 50 years and older and adults aged 19 years who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed because of disease or therapy as a two-dose series , 2 to 6 months apart . However, for persons who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed and who would benefit from completing the series in a shorter period, the second dose can be administered 12 months after the first. See more detailed clinical guidance.

If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose of Shingrix, you should administer the second dose as soon as possible. However, you do not need to restart the vaccine series.

If the second dose is given less than 4 weeks after the first dose, the second dose should be considered invalid. A valid second dose should be administered 2 months after the invalid dose .

Also Check: What Are The Complications Of Shingles

How Long Does It Take To Work

It takes time for your body to make enough antibodies to fight off germs and protect you from certain diseases.

Results from clinical studies of Shingrix showed that the recommended dosing schedule for Shingrix does cause an immune response.

How long Shingrix takes to work may not be the same for everyone. The timing for you will depend on your body chemistry. In general, you should be protected from shingles soon after the second dose.

Studies in animals showed that there was no risk with Shingrix during pregnancy. However, animal studies dont always predict the way humans would respond.

If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, wait until after youve had your baby to get the Shingrix vaccine. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.

There havent been enough studies to show whether Shingrix appears in breast milk.

Until more is known, its best to wait until youve finished breastfeeding before getting Shingrix.

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.

Read Also: How Do I Get The Shingles Vaccine

For Patients Who Previously Received Zostavax

Zostavax is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. Consider the patients age and when he or she received Zostavax to determine when to vaccinate with Shingrix. Studies examined the safety of Shingrix vaccination 5 or more years after Zostavax vaccination. Shorter intervals were not studied, but there are no theoretical or data concerns to indicate that Shingrix would be less safe or effective if administered less than 5 years after a patient received Zostavax.

You may consider an interval shorter than 5 years between Zostavax and Shingrix based on the age at which the patient received Zostavax. Differences in efficacy between Shingrix and Zostavax are most pronounced among older patients. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of Zostavax wanes substantially over time, leaving recipients with reduced protection against herpes zoster. For example, the vaccine efficacy among adults aged 70 to 79 years and adults aged 80 years and older is 41% and 18%, respectively, on average during the first 3 years following Zostavax vaccination.

You should wait at least 8 weeks after a patient received Zostavax to administer Shingrix.

Who Can Have The Shingles Vaccination

Shingles vaccination is available to everyone aged 70 to 79.

When you’re eligible, you can have the shingles vaccination at any time of year.

The shingles vaccine is not available on the NHS to anyone aged 80 or over because it seems to be less effective in this age group.

Read more about who can have the shingles vaccine.

Read Also: Can Shingles Appear On The Face

Routine Vaccination Of People 50 Years Old And Older

CDC recommends Shingrix for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications. CDC recommends two doses of Shingrix separated by 2 to 6 months for immunocompetent adults aged 50 years and older:

  • Whether or not they report a prior episode of herpes zoster.
  • Whether or not they report a prior dose of Zostavax, a shingles vaccine that is no longer available for use in the United States.
  • It is not necessary to screen, either verbally or by laboratory serology, for evidence of prior varicella.

Recombinant and adjuvanted vaccines, such as Shingrix, can be administered concomitantly, at different anatomic sites, with other adult vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines. Coadministration of RZV with adjuvanted influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccines is being studied.

Who Shouldnt Receive Shringrix

Although vaccines go through rigorous safety testing to ensure they are safe, they arent suitable for everyone. You shouldnt receive Shingrix if you:

  • have an active shingles infection
  • have a severe illness or a fever of 101.3°F or higher
  • have had a severe allergic reaction to Shingrix or any ingredient in the vaccine
  • have no immunity to varicella based on a blood test carried out for other reasons
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

If you currently have shingles, another serious illness, or a fever of 101.3°F , wait until these issues have resolved to receive a Shingrix vaccination.

Also Check: How Bad Can Shingles Get

Dosage For Shingles Prevention

Shingrix is given as two 0.5-mL injections in your upper arm. Youll receive two doses of this vaccine.

Over time, some vaccines protection begins to fade, so may you need booster doses. They help keep the vaccine working. But you dont need a booster dose after getting the two doses of Shingrix.

Shingrix dosing schedule for people ages 50 years and older

For people ages 50 years and older taking Shingrix, the second dose is given 2 to 6 months after the first dose.

Shingrix dosing schedule for people ages 18 years and older with an increased risk of shingles

For people ages 18 years and older with an increased risk of shingles who are taking Shingrix, the second dose may be given 1 to 2 months after the first dose.

Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles Vaccine-Mayo Clinic

There are a few situations in which shingles vaccination may not be right for you. You should not get Shingrix if youâve ever had a severe reaction to a vaccine. This means you had trouble breathing or swelling in your mouth or airway, a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.

You should also skip Shingrix if:

  • You have allergies to any parts of the vaccine. These include gelatin and the antibiotic neomycin. If you have other allergies, tell your doctor or pharmacist about them before you get Shingrix.
  • You currently have shingles or another illness. You can get the vaccine when youâre well.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should wait until youâve stopped breastfeeding to get vaccinated.
  • You happened to test negative for VZV, the virus that causes chickenpox. If youâre older than 50, you probably had chickenpox even if you donât remember it. The CDC does not recommend testing for this. However, if a blood test shows youâve never had the childhood illness, you should get the chickenpox vaccine instead.

If you have a disease or take medications that affect your immune system, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of Shingrix.

âItâs an individualized decision based on factors such as the specific medications and conditions of the person sitting in front of you,â Kistler says. She often consults with her patientsâ specialist doctors to make decisions about Shingrix.

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I Received The Chickenpox Vaccine Can I Still Get Shingles

Chickenpox vaccine became widely available in the United States in 1995 and, since then, most children receive it as part of their routine vaccination schedule.

However, even vaccinated individuals can get chickenpox and subsequently shingles later in life due to waning immunity over time. In fact, research data actually shows that cases of shingles are increasing worldwide even though vaccination rates are also on the rise.

There are two possible reasons for this, says Dr. Kumar. First and foremost, people are living longer and as we age, our immune systems become less effective, leaving us more vulnerable to viral infections like shingles. Secondly, advances in immunosuppressant treatments for certain conditions are artificially suppressing the immune systems in people of all ages, also leaving them vulnerable, he adds.

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:

Also Check: Will Medicare Pay For Shingles Shot In 2022

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.

Swelling Around The Injection Site

Swelling around the injection site is another common side effect of Shingrix. Like pain and redness, minor swelling can usually result from a localized immune system response, which isnt necessarily dangerous.

You can apply hydrocortisone cream on or around the injection site to reduce redness and swelling. However, if you experience severe swelling that doesnt go away, or the swelling accompanies other symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention right away.

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

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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