Do The Vaccines Protect Against Virus Variants
Studies and current data show that the antibodies our bodies make after vaccination and a booster shot recognize and protect against COVID-19 variants like Omicron.However, studies also show that the protection against Omicron offered by the original COVID-19 booster shots wanes substantially over time.
On August 31, the FDA of updated booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines contain mRNA components that are effective against both the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the most common variants of the Omicron strain.
Who Shouldn’t Get A Shingles Vaccine
The CDC says some people shouldn’t get the shingles vaccine. That includes those who:
- Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix
- Tested negative for VZV immunity
- Currently have shingles
- Have a severe or moderate acute illness, such as a respiratory infection
Your healthcare provider can answer any questions you have about whether the vaccine is safe for you.
Does The Shingles Vaccine Contain Thimerosal
You may be concerned about additives to the shingles vaccine, like thimerosal.
Thimerosal is a preservative that contains mercury. Its added to some vaccines to prevent bacteria and other germs from growing in them. The shingles vaccine contains thimerosal.
The worry about thimerosal arose when early research linked it to autism. This connection has since been found to be untrue.
Don’t Miss: How To Schedule Shingles Vaccine At Cvs
Risk Of Shingles In Ra Patients
Rheumatoid arthritis significantly increases the risk of shingles and related complications. Studies suggest that people with RA have a 1.5 to 2 times higher risk of developing shingles than the general population.
When people with RA do get shingles, they are also more likely to develop serious medical complications. For example, a 2017 study found that people with RA who contracted shingles were twice as likely to have a stroke in the following months.
Its not entirely clear why people with RA are more likely to get shingles. Some people with RA have a weakened immune system, which increases the chance of developing a variety of illnesses and infections. RA flare-ups also increase the bodys overall level of inflammation, which has been linked to both shingles and PHN.
Additionally, many people with RA take immunosuppressantsdrugs that work to reduce the bodys natural immune responseto treat their symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Several common rheumatoid arthritis medications have been found to increase the risk of shingles, including:
Who Is A Candidate For The Shingles Vaccine
Adults 50 years and older. Immunocompetent adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, 2 to 6 months apart.
Adults 19 years and older with weakened immunity. Immunity could be reduced by diseases like HIV, leukemia, or lymphoma. The immunosuppressive medicines given with organ transplants, and chemotherapy for cancer, also weaken immunity. The vaccine is safe and effective in people with multiple myeloma and other blood cancers, solid organ cancer, people with HIV, and renal transplant recipients.
People who have had shingles. Unlike chickenpox, shingles can happen again. The shingles vaccine works well if youve had shingles before. You will have stronger immunity against further attacks of shingles.
People who took Zostavax. This shingles vaccine is no longer in use in the US. People who took it should take two doses of RZV.
Do your age or health situation make you eligible for the vaccine? Weighing the benefits and potential dangers will let you make the best decision for yourself.
Read Also: What Are Reactions To Shingles Vaccine
Read Also: Sore Arm From Shingles Shot
Are Vaccines Still Being Researched
New and ongoing studies on vaccines are underway. NIHInstitutes andCenters, in partnership with private businesses,continue tostudydifferent types of vaccines.
Some current research aimsto determine whether approved vaccines will grant immunity against emergingCOVID-19 variantsand whethernew vaccineswill be needed. Othervaccine studies continue to monitor the health of people who have already hadavaccine to determine their effectiveness over a longer period of time.
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.
Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine: Is It Safe
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.
Do The Vaccines Have Any Side Effects
All vaccines may cause some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is making antibodies. These side effects go away in a few days. Many people have no side effects.
Serious side effects that could cause long-term health problems are extremely unlikely following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. These rare side effects usually appear within six weeks of receiving a vaccine dose. If you have any health problems after vaccination, report them to theVaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.
Rare cases of heart inflammation have been reported after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, mainly in male adolescents and young adults.
The CDC continues to recommend vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older, given the greater risk of serious complications related to COVID-19.
You May Like: How Do I Get Rid Of Shingles Nerve Pain
When Should You See A Doctor
Youll want to see your doctor if you believe you have shingles. However, it is critical that you seek medical care in these circumstances:
- Permanent damage is possible if pain and rash near an eye if not treated.
- Age increases the risk of complications. Its essential to visit your physician if you are older than 60.
- If you or a family member have a weak immune system
- A painful rash on a large section of your body
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingrix
Studies show that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles. As a result, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. The side effects might affect your ability to do normal daily activities for 2 to 3 days.
Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. Some people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days. Side effects were more common in younger people.
You might have a reaction to the first or second dose of Shingrix, or both doses. If you experience side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Guillain-Barré syndrome , a serious nervous system disorder, has been reported very rarely after Shingrix. There is also a very small increased risk of GBS after having shingles.
If you experience side effects from Shingrix, you should report them 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.
If you have any questions about side effects from Shingrix, talk with your doctor.
Also Check: How To Remove Mildew From Shingles
Who Should Get Shingrix
Adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. If needed, people with weakened immune systems can get the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first.
You should get Shingrix even if in the past you:
- Received varicella vaccine
There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.
If you had shingles in the past, Shingrix can help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time that you need to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.
Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus . After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles.
Shingrix is available in doctors offices and pharmacies.
If you have questions about Shingrix, talk with your healthcare provider.
* A shingles vaccine called zoster vaccine live is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. If you had Zostavax in the past, you should still get Shingrix. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best time to get Shingrix.
Redness At Injection Site
Redness at and around the injection site is common and may appear immediately or some days after receiving Shingrix. This redness commonly develops due to a localized immune system response, which shouldnt cause further concern.
Arm redness should disappear within a few days after receiving the vaccine. However, if you experience redness with a rash or severe pain, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
Can I Get The Shingles Vaccine If I Am Under Age 50
Shingrix is not recommended for adults under age 50 who have a healthy immune system.
It is recommended for adults ages 19 or over who are immunocompromised, such as people with an immune-related health condition or who are receiving immunosuppressive agents, which are medications that reduce the bodys immune response. These medications may help prevent organ rejection after an organ transplant and treat other medical conditions.
How Do I Know The Vaccines Are Safe
Vaccines have very high safety standards, and COVID-19 vaccines are no exception.COVID-19 vaccines have undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history.
The timeline for creating COVID-19 vaccines was shorter than for other vaccines for many reasons, including:
NIH scientists have been studying mRNA vaccines and coronaviruses for decades. They had a head start because they already knew a lot about how mRNA vaccines work and how to make them.
Researchers, the federal government, and drug companies came together like never before to cooperate and share resources, making the vaccine testing process more efficient.
NIH set up the COVID-19 Prevention Network to coordinate existing research networks and carry out large clinical trials in tens of thousands of people efficiently. Many Americans from diverse communities volunteered to participate in the studies.
The FDA analyzed data from the clinical trials right away.
The safety of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines is being tracked through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a unique safety system called v-safe that was established specifically for COVID-19 vaccines, and other systems. Vaccine manufacturers submit monthly safety updates to the FDA. The FDA also inspects vaccine production facilities and checks the quality of vaccine batches.
You May Like: When Do You Get Shingles Vaccine
Rare Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine
In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis may occur. This can be a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis after receiving the shingles vaccine include:
Typically, these side effects appear immediately or within a few minutes of vaccination your vaccination provider may be present. If you experience them after leaving the office, call 911.
Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine
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.
Read Also: When Do You Get Your Second Shingles Shot
Read Also: Can I Get Shingles After Vaccine
More Information On Side Effects
Reactions listed under possible side effects or adverse events on vaccine product information sheets may not all be directly linked to the vaccine. See Vaccine side effects and adverse reactions for more information on why this is the case.
If you are concerned about any reactions that occur after vaccination, consult your doctor. In the UK you can report suspected vaccine side effects to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency through the Yellow Card Scheme . See more information on the Yellow Card scheme and monitoring of vaccine safety.
Possible Side Effects From Vaccines
Any vaccine can cause side effects. For the most part these are minor and go away within a few days. Listed below are vaccines licensed in the United States and side effects that have been associated with each of them. This information is copied directly from CDCs Vaccine Information Statements , which in turn are derived from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practicesrecommendations for each vaccine.
Remember, vaccines are continually monitored for safety, and like any medication, vaccines can cause side effects. However, a decision not to immunize a child also involves risk and could put the child and others who come into contact with him or her at risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease.
Recommended Reading: Kaiser Permanente Shingles Vaccine Cost
Also Check: What Antiviral Medication Is Used For Shingles
Who Should Not Get Shingrix
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.
Shingles Vaccine Lawyers In Houston
You need a solid legal team on your side if youre looking to take on pharmaceutical companies. Reich & Binstocks Houston pharmaceuticals injury lawyers have the experience, skills, and tenacity to challenge Merck in court for its negligence.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation if Zostavax caused your vaccine injury. Our phone number is . Reich & Binstock has a solid reputation for fighting against drug manufacturers and handles cases for clients experiencing injuries from medicines such as Injectafer, Xeljanz, Zantac, Elmiron, and more.
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Beginning Stages Of Shingles
Does Shingrix Cause Guillain
Shingrix may be associated with an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare nervous system disorder. The FDA required that the vaccine label be changed to include this information and reflect the potential risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome. A postmarketing observational study found that there may be an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome during the 42 days following vaccination. Still, the FDA asserts the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the potential risk of adverse effects.