Monday, June 24, 2024

Pros & Cons Of Shingles Vaccine

Reasons To Get The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccine: Should I get it?

Once a person develops chickenpox after contracting the varicella-zoster virus, the virus never leaves the body. It remains dormant in the nerve roots and can reappear as shingles later in life.

The primary symptom of shingles is a painful rash on one side of the body, most often on the torso or face. People initially have pain or a burning sensation on the skin without a rash, and then painful blisters develop. The rash lasts approximately seven to 10 days and fully clears within two to four weeks.

The likelihood of developing shingles increases dramatically after age 50. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults age 50 and over receive two doses of Shingrix to prevent shingles. The vaccine is recommended even if a person is unsure if they have ever had chickenpox.

People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for shingles. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration also recently approved Shingrix vaccination for adults age 18 and older who are at risk for shingles due to immunodeficiency or immunosuppression caused by an underlying disease or medication.

A Closer Look At The Safety Data

Both Shingrix and Zostavax shingles vaccines have been shown to be safe and well tolerated. Common side effects, such as soreness and redness at the injection site, are usually mild to moderate in intensity and resolve quickly on their own.


In 8 clinical trials of more than 10,000 participants:

  • Grade 3 reactions were common after patients received Shingrix.
  • About 1 out of 10 adults who received Shingrix reported grade 3 injection-site symptoms such as pain, redness, and swelling.
  • About 1 out of 10 reported grade 3 systemic reactions such as myalgia , fatigue , headache, shivering, fever, and gastrointestinal illness.
  • Most people who got Shingrix reported at least some pain at the injection site.


Shingles Vaccine Side Effects And Other Vaccine Faqs

Medical Review By: Ted Schiff, MD

If youve ever had chickenpox, youre at risk of shingles. Thats because the virus that causes chickenpox, varicella-zoster virus, lives in the body forever. Usually, it stays dormant, but occasionally it reappears later in life in the form of shingles.

Shingles might start with a burning or tingling sensation on the skin. From there it can progress to severe pain, headaches, and a rash. The illness can last several weeks. Some people who develop shingles go on to experience long-term nerve pain, known as postherpetic neuralgia.

If you know anyone who has had shingles, youre probably motivated to avoid suffering a bout of it yourself. The shingles vaccine can help you do just that.

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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:

Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit Update

Fake Anavar

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

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So My Question To You Is Do You Think That You Should Get The Shingles Vaccine Shot

Before you answer that, lets look at the symptoms of Shingles:

According to the Mayo Clinics website, it usually occurs at a small section of one side of your body, and the symptoms include pain, burning, numbness or tingling, sensitivity to the touch. Youll notice a red rash that begins a few days after the pain, fluid-filled blisters that break open and then crust over and start itching. Some people also experience fever, headaches, sensitivity to light and fatigue.

How Much Does The Shingles Vaccine Cost

Shingrex is covered by some health plans but not all. It is not covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. In most cases, its covered by Medicare prescription drug plans .

The cost may be covered under Medicaid or private insurance, but copays may apply. Under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance policies must cover preventive care in full, and this includes vaccinations. Rules may differ based on age and provider network. Check with your insurer first so you wont be caught off guard.

Without insurance, it can cost as much as $300 to get both doses. GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Shingrix, offers vaccine assistance programs for those who qualify.

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Reasons To Not Get The Shingles Vaccine

Not everyone should get the shingles vaccine. You should not be vaccinated if:

  • You have had a severe allergic reaction to any components in the vaccine. Talk with your doctor if you have had any reaction to vaccines in the past.
  • You are pregnant or may be pregnant, or you are breastfeeding.
  • You have active shingles. The vaccine is not a treatment. It is only good for prevention.
  • You test negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles. A negative test result means you have not had chickenpox and you should get the chickenpox vaccine, which is a live, but weakened virus vaccine.

How Is Shingrix Different From Zostavax

Shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy older adults

Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and a painful complication called postherpetic neuralgia in all age groups. Zostavax only lowers the odds of getting shingles by 51%, and of PHN by 67%. Its even less effective in people ages 70 and older.

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Also Check: Does Insurance Cover The Shingles Shot

The Cons Of Shingles Vaccination

Aside from the benefits, people also need to make sure that they are going to be aware of some of the possible risks or dangers that this vaccination might bring to their life before deciding to be vaccinated. Here are some of the disadvantages or downside of shingles vaccination:

1. People who have tuberculosis would not be injected by shingles vaccine in order to prevent serious side effects of the vaccination.

2. Women who are pregnant are not allowed to have shingles vaccination since it may affect the growth of their baby.

3. Shingles vaccine may weaken the immune system of the body and all other systems that are being affected by the vaccine substance.

4. It can also be dangerous to people whose skin is sensitive to different substances.

Can People Who Got The Shingles Vaccine Be Around Babies

Yes, people who had the shingles vaccine can be around babies. Unlike the previously available Zostavax vaccine, Shingrix does not contain live, weakened virus, so it does not replicate and people do not get a rash. Therefore, there is no chance of transmitting the virus to babies who are susceptible to chickenpox. Watch as Dr. Offit discusses being around babies after receiving a shingles vaccine in this short video, part of the series Talking About Vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit.

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Why Is Shingrix Recommended For People Ages 50 And Older

You can get Shingrix at age 50, when your chance of having shingles rises. Studies have shown that its protection remains strong for at least 4 years, but researchers hope it will last much longer because the immune response is stronger.

The CDC recommended that Zostavax stay at 60 and older because they were concerned the immunity would wane, and there would be a number of people who were vaccinated in their 50s who wouldnt be protected in their 70s, says Kenneth Schmader, MD, a professor of medicine and chief in the division of geriatrics at Duke University Medical Center.

New Shingles Vaccine Changes Recommendations For Adults


The pain associated with shingles can be unbearable. It can last for months and be so debilitating that even routine tasks become too difficult to bear. The single dose Zostavax® vaccine had been recommended since 2006, and it is about 50 percent effective at protecting against a shingles rash and about 75-80 percent effective at protecting against pain.

Fortunately, a new shingles vaccine, called Shingrix®, offers improved protection not only from developing the disease, but also against the severe pain associated with shingles. Shingrix is 95 percent effective at protecting against both the rash and associated pain. It is given as two doses separated by two to six months.

In this video, Dr. Offit discusses the differences between the two shingles vaccines and updated recommendations for adults. These include getting the vaccine at 50 years of age instead of 60 and being revaccinated if youve previously received the older version .

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Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine: Is It Safe

Shingles is a painful rash caused by varicella zoster, the same virus responsible for chickenpox.

If you had chickenpox as a child, the virus hasnt completely gone away. It hides dormant in your body and can reemerge many years later as shingles.

About 1 in 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. This is why vaccination is important. But you should also be prepared for possible side effects. In this article, well discuss the side effects, and talk about who should get the vaccine.

Older adults are most likely to develop shingles. This is why the shingles vaccine is recommended for people ages 50 and older.

Shingrix is the only shingles vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .

The Shingrix vaccine is a recombinant vaccine. This means vaccine manufacturers created it by altering and purifying DNA that creates an immune response to fight the virus.

The CDC recommends Shingrix for the prevention of shingles and related complications. The Shingrix vaccine is also recommended for anyone who has already gotten another type of shingles vaccine.

Currently, the CDC recommends healthy people ages 50 and older get the Shingrix vaccine. Doctors administer the vaccine in two doses, which are given 2 to 6 months apart.

The Shingrix vaccine has high success rates in protecting people against shingles.

The Shingrix vaccine is as much as effective in preventing shingles. The same is true for Shingrix and postherpetic neuralgia.

Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine

The shingles vaccination is recommended by the CDC for people 50 years and older, as well as those 19 years and older, who have impaired immune systems owing to disease or pharmaceutical therapy. It also advises getting the shingles vaccine if you’ve already had shingles and/or chickenpox, as well as if you’ve had another shingles vaccine called Zostavax, which is no longer available in the US.

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Uncommon Rare And Very Rare Adverse Events

Uncommon adverse events occur in 0.1% to less than 1% of vaccinees. Rare and very rare adverse events occur, respectively, in 0.01% to less than 0.1% and less than 0.01% of vaccinees.

Both HZ vaccines are safe with serious adverse events reported very rarely in immunocompetent individuals.

Recurrence or exacerbation of herpes zoster ophthalmicus following LZV vaccination has been reported very rarely, involving several cases world-wide following LZV immunization. Following a causality assessment of seven cases of HZO which were temporally associated with the administration of LZV, NACI concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the administration of LZV in individuals with a history of HZO. More evidence is required for further assessment of risk related to HZO recurrence in LZV recipients. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to assess the risk related to HZO recurrence following RZV recipients.

See Contraindications and Precautions if considering vaccinating a person with previous HZO.

For more information, refer to Adverse Events Following Immunization in Part 2 and the product monograph in Health Canadas Drug Product Database.

Also Check: How Do You Know If You Got Shingles

What Are The Side Effects

Who Should Get the New Shingles Vaccine?

According to the CDC, the shingles vaccine may cause transient adverse effects that interfere with your ability to do routine everyday activities for two to three days.

The following are some of the possible shingles vaccine side effects:

  • Sore arm with mild to moderate pain
  • Redness and swelling at the injection site

Side effects are more likely in younger people, according to the CDC, and you may have a reaction to the shingles injection after both doses. If you have side effects after the shingles vaccine, it recommends taking over-the-counter pain relievers such ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is another possible side effect of the shingles vaccine, according to the CDC . According to the National Library of Medicine, GBS is an uncommon but deadly disorder in which your immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system, which regulates the nerves in your brain and spinal cord.

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I Polled Social Media And Several People Said They Would Not Get The Vaccine For One Reason Or Another

DL said that I had shingles about 15 years ago and Bells Palsy 3 years ago. My immune system would not appreciate the vaccine. There have been cases of people getting Bells Palsy after the shingles shot.

And BL agreed by stating Do not plan on getting this vaccine. Know of too many ill effects from it.

Another person, DB, isnt able to get the vaccine due to an allergy. If you have a latex allergy, Shingrix, Pneumonia and Tetanus vaccines all have latex in the delivery system so wouldnt give them to me. Searched but no latex-free options found anywhere.

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In contrast, shingles usually begins as a painful, burning sensation. A rash and blisters soon develop, often at the spine, and form a “belt-like” distribution across one side of the body.

How often does shingles appear in patients who’ve had chicken pox?

People who have had chicken pox have at least a one in ten chance of developing shingles. The risk increases with age. “As we get older, our immune system is less capable of fending off things, or in the case of the varicella zoster virus, of keeping it in check,” Hallberg said.

What’s the medical danger from shingles?

Shingles is a very painful condition and can result in serious complications. Some patients can develop shingles in an eye, which could lead to glaucoma and possibly blindness. Older patients are more likely to experience a burning, searing pain that lingers for months or years.

Who should consider getting this vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 60 get the vaccine.

How effective is it?

Studies show that the vaccine is about 60 percent effective.

Does insurance cover the vaccine?

In the wake of these ads, are doctors hearing more about shingles from their patients?

If you didn’t get the vaccine, and you get shingles, what’s the treatment?

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Do You Have To Be Over 50 To Get The Shingles Vaccine

Before I heard back from of No Fig Leaves Allowed! Getting Emotionally Naked!, I thought that you had to be over 50 years old to get Shingrix. But that is not necessarily the case:

I have had chronic Shingles outbreaks since I was a teenager.

For me, they are stress-induced.

The pain in my back and sides is so intense, I feel like Ive fallen from a 10 story building and landed on my back.

It hurts to breathe.

After the pain, comes intense itching, followed by band and clusters of blisters. It was all I could do not to pop those blisters and relieve the pressure.

I tried everything.

Years of washing every piece of clothing and being so careful not to spread to anyone else. To this day, I never feel safe reusing a towel and am careful to use a separate body & face towel- even when I do not have a breakout.

Wow! I hadnt thought of that! Good Point Susan! She went on to say:

I wonder how many people didnt realize that someone could get Chicken Pox from someone with a Shingles outbreak. Honestly, until I researched the topic for this article I didnt know.

I was excited to get the first injection in my left arm last week.

I guess that you CAN get the Shingles vaccine even if you are under the age of 50. Anyway, Im happy that she was able to work with her doctor to get it.

But it wasnt all rosy for Susan either:

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