Friday, April 12, 2024

If You Already Have Shingles Can You Get The Vaccine

Who’s Most At Risk Of Shingles

New shingles vaccine – if you’re a boomer, you need to take it

People tend to get shingles more often as they get older, especially over the age of 70. And the older you are, the worse it can be. The shingles rash can be extremely painful, such that sufferers cannot even bear the feeling of their clothes touching the affected skin.

The pain of shingles can also linger long after the rash has disappeared, even for many years. This lingering pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia .

Understanding What Triggers A Shingles Outbreak

Not everyone who has chickenpox will get shingles. Most people who get shingles only get it once unless they are immunocompromised.

You cannot “catch” shingles. However, if you have never had chickenpox, you can catch the virus through direct contact with a shingles rash. In this case, you will get chickenpox, not shingles.

People with shingles should keep their rash covered, especially if they are around somebody who is unsure whether they have had chickenpox and have not been vaccinated.

It is not known exactly why shingles outbreaks happen, but most cases are thought to be caused by lowered immunity. This means that the following are risk factors:

  • Old age. Most cases of shingles occur in people over 70, and it is rare in people under 40.

  • Conditions that affect your immune system, such as HIV

  • Being on medication that can suppress the immune system, such as corticosteroids

  • Recently having had a bone marrow or organ transplant

Shingles can sometimes seem to appear out of the blue, and you may never know what triggered the outbreak. Being vaccinated against chickenpox can, since it’s a live vaccine, result in shingles. However, the risk is lower than with natural infection.

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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What Causes A Shingles Outbreak

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful condition that most often affects adults over 50. While in most cases, it is not a serious condition, it can be extremely unpleasant.

So, what causes shingles and how do you get it?

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Why You Shouldn’t Get The Shingles Vaccine

How Many Shingle Shots Do You Get
  • Medical Reviewer: Dany Paul Baby, MD

Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2022

  • Related Resources – Why You Shouldn’t Get the Shingles Vaccine
  • Shingles is a disease that usually presents with a painful rash that affects one in three people in their lifetime. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox the herpes virus varicella-zoster. More than 99% of people born before 1980 have had chickenpox and have this virus dormant in the brain or spinal cord.

    Shingles activates when your immunity is low, usually with advancing age. The currently used recombinant zoster vaccine is safe and effective. But not everyone who is a candidate for the shingles vaccine should take it. Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccine has benefits and harms. You should know about both and make an informed decision about taking it.

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    Shingles Vaccination What You Should Know:

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends shingles vaccine for people 60 years of age and older. This is a one-time vaccination to prevent shingles. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.

    Anyone 60 years of age or older should get the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember getting the disease.

    Your risk for getting shingles begins to rise around age 50. However, shingles vaccine is only recommended for persons age 60 and older because the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine have only been studied in this age group.

    Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your healthcare provider. Generally, a person should make sure that the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.

    Shingles Vaccine And Insurance

    Private health insurance plans often cover vaccination costs. Still, a patient might have a charge depending on the specific insurance plan.

    Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine cost.Medicare Part D plans cover the shingles vaccine, but there may be a cost to the patient depending on the plan. Usually, the fees are less than $50 per dose.

    Medicare Part B does not cover the shingles vaccine.

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    Vaccine Safety And Side Effects

    Vaccines are very safe, and they can help keep you from getting serious or life-threatening diseases. The most common side effects for all these vaccines are mild and may include pain, swelling, or redness where the vaccine was given.

    Before getting any vaccine, talk with a doctor or pharmacist about your health history, including past illnesses and treatments, as well as any allergies. A health care provider can address any concerns you have.

    It’s a good idea to keep your own vaccination record, listing the types and dates of your shots, along with any side effects or problems.

    Check If You Have Shingles

    Who Should Get the New Shingles Vaccine?

    The first signs of shingles can be:

    • a tingling or painful feeling in an area of skin
    • a headache or feeling generally unwell

    A rash will appear a few days later.

    Usually you get the shingles rash on your chest and tummy, but it can appear anywhere on your body including on your face, eyes and genitals.

    The rash appears as blotches on your skin, on 1 side of your body only. A rash on both the left and right of your body is unlikely to be shingles.

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    Vaccines To Help Prevent Pneumonia

    Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection that spreads from person to person by air. It often causes pneumonia in the lungs and it can affect other parts of the body. Older adults are at higher risk than younger people of getting very sick or dying from pneumococcal disease.

    The CDC recommends that all adults age 65 and older get pneumococcal vaccination. This vaccine will help protect you from getting a serious infection, including pneumonia. There are multiple forms of the pneumococcal vaccine: Talk to a health care provider to find out which is best for you. You can also visit the CDCs Pneumococcal Vaccination webpage to learn more about the types of vaccines that are available.

    Are Vaccines Effective Against Shingles

    Being vaccinated against chickenpox lowers your risk of shingles. While the vaccine can cause shingles, it is at a much lower rate.

    There is also an approved vaccine, Shingrix. This vaccine is delivered in two doses and is recommended at the age of 50 and to adults with weakened immune systems. It is also recommended that people vaccinated with the older vaccine, Zostavax, get Shingrix as it is substantially more effective.

    In older adults, Shingrix is more than 90% effective. Shingrix is a reactogenic vaccine, meaning it tends to have more side effects than some other vaccines. However, the side effects are much less severe than getting shingles. Consider scheduling your vaccine for a time when you can take a day off work in case you get side effects.

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    Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine

    The CDC recommends all healthy adults ages 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine to prevent shingles and problems that can develop after youve had the disease. The two doses should be separated by two to six months. You should get the shingles vaccine even if you:

    • Have had shingles: If youve had shingles in the past, you should get the shingles vaccine to help prevent getting the disease again. You should wait until the shingles rash is gone before getting the vaccine.
    • Arent sure if youve had chickenpox: Studies show more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox at some point in their lives. You should get the shingles vaccine whether or not you remember having chickenpox because theyre caused by the same virus.
    • Received the old shingles vaccine : Before November 18, 2020, people were vaccinated with a shingles vaccine called Zostavax. You cant get Zostavax in the United States anymore. If you were vaccinated with Zostavax, you should get vaccinated with the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix.

    What Shingles Vaccines Are Available

    Shingles And Shortness Of Breath

    Initially, there were two types of vaccines licensed and recommended for the prevention of shingles in the US:

    • The zoster vaccine live

    • Recombinant zoster vaccines

    Zostavax was approved and licensed by the FDA² in 2006. The vaccine minimizes the risk of getting shingles by 51% and postherpetic neuralgia by 61%. Moreover, it is given in one dose as a shot.

    Furthermore, Zostavax is recommended for people 60 and older. It contains a weakened varicella-zoster virus therefore, it is not ideal for people with a weakened immune system.

    However, the shingles vaccine Zostavax is no longer available in the US as of November 2020.³

    Also Check: How Can I Get Shingles Vaccine Free

    Can You Get Chickenpox If You’ve Been Vaccinated

    Yes. About 15% 20% of people who have received one dose of varicella vaccine do still get chickenpox if they are exposed, but their disease is usually mild. Vaccinated persons who get chickenpox generally have fewer than 50 spots or bumps, which may resemble bug bites more than typical, fluid-filled chickenpox blisters. In 2006, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend routine two-dose varicella vaccination for children. In one study, children who received two doses of varicella vaccine were three times less likely to get chickenpox than individuals who have had only one dose.

    Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit Update

    Our law firm is handling Zostavax and Shingrix vaccine lawsuits. These vaccines were intended for the prevention of herpes zoster which is more commonly known as the shingles virus.

    These herpes lawsuits allege that the shingles vaccine was unsafe for patients. The key injury, incredibly, is that the Zostavax shingles vaccine causes shingles and zoster-related injuries. So the very thing meant to protect them against shingles actually caused shingles.

    The Zostavax shingles suits make a lot of allegations against Merck. Many of the extraneous claims have already been dismissed. Lawyers make a lot of claims when they file lawsuits like this, sometimes too many. But the core of it is plaintiffs attorneys allege that Merck knew or should have known of the risks and reactions associated with their product.

    Because Merck knew of the risks, it had a legal obligation to provide warnings. These should have fairly and accurately depicted the severity of the risks associated with the Zostavax. This is particularly true because there were better options available than Zostavax on the market.

    The Shingles Virus The New Jersey Lawsuit

    This lawsuit filed in New Jersey alleges that nearly 1,000 victims took Zostavax vaccine to avoid shingles, but instead developed a recurring strain of herpes zoster, which is more difficult to treat than usual.

    Zostavax MDL Update

    Also Check: Can Shingles Vaccine Cause Fever

    Make A Plan To Get 2 Doses

    • You can get Shingrix at your doctors office or pharmacy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting Shingrix.
    • Plan to get your second dose of Shingrix 2 to 6 months after your first dose.

    Five years later, I still take prescription medication for pain. My shingles rash quickly developed into open, oozing sores that in only a few days required me to be hospitalized. I could not eat, sleep, or perform even the most minor tasks. It was totally debilitating. The pain still limits my activity levels to this day.

    A 63-year-old harpist who was unable to continue playing due to shingles

    What Is The Prognosis For Shingles What Are Possible Shingles Complications

    Shingles Vaccine-Mayo Clinic

    Many cases of shingles go away by themselves, with or without treatment. The rash and pain should be gone in two to three weeks. However, shingles may last longer and be more likely to recur if the person is older, especially older than 50 years of age, or if they have a serious medical problem.

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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.

    Who Should Not Have The Shingles Vaccine

    You should not have the shingles vaccine if you’ve had a serious allergic reaction in the past to a previous dose of the shingles vaccine, or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine, or to a previous dose of varicella vaccine.

    If you have a weakened immune system a GP or practice nurse will assess which vaccine is suitable for you. Discuss any health concerns with the GP or practice nurse before you have the vaccine.

    Zostavax is not suitable for people who have a weakened immune system due to a condition, treatment or medicine.

    Recommended Reading: How Soon After Shingles Can I Get Vaccine

    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:

    When Should I See A Doctor

    Check if you have shingles

    See your doctor at the first sign of shingles. Getting treated early can help it go away faster and may help you avoid related problems. For instance, shingles on the face can cause hearing or sight problems, including blindness.

    If you have a weak immune system and can’t get the vaccine, early treatment is your best defense against shingles.

    Sometimes what seems to be shingles is really herpes simplex. Though it usually appears as “cold sores” around the mouth or genitals, this form of herpes can show up elsewhere. A different treatment is used to clear it up. Your doctor can do tests, such as a viral culture, to confirm whether you have shingles and to get you the right treatment.

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    What Are The Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine

    Most side effects of the shingles vaccine are mild and typically last only 2 to 3 days.

    One of the most common side effects of the shingles vaccine is an injection site reaction. This can include redness, swelling, or soreness where you got your shot.

    Other side effects can include:

    • muscle aches and pains

    Side effects felt throughout your body are typically more common after receiving the second and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Like the shingles vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine side effects typically last only a couple of days.

    When COVID-19 and flu circulate at the same time, it has the potential to cause many people to become ill and overburden the healthcare system. As such, its essential to receive both COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

    Its safe to receive your COVID-19 and flu vaccine at the same time.

    Though were still learning more about giving the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines, a found no safety concerns when the COVID-19 and flu vaccine were given at the same time. Also, participants produced expected antibody responses to both vaccines.

    The CDC that all people ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine can help prevent illness and reduce the risk of serious flu-related complications in vulnerable individuals, such as:

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