Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Side Effects Of The Shingles Shot

More Information On Side Effects

What are the side effects of the shingles shot?

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.

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.

Administration Of Herpes Zoster Vaccine

The newer recombinant herpes zoster vaccine is given in two doses, injected into a muscle. The doses are given 2 to 6 months apart and at least 2 months after the live-attenuated herpes zoster vaccine.

The recombinant vaccine is recommended for people aged 50 and over whether or not they have ever had shingles or have been given the live-attenuated vaccine.

Certain conditions may affect whether and when people are vaccinated . If people have a temporary illness, doctors usually wait to give the vaccine until the illness resolves.

Read Also: How Do You Get The Shingles Vaccine

A New Shingles Vaccine

  • U.S. News & World Report

If youre 50 or older, you’re advised to get immunized to protect yourself from shingles. If the new shingles vaccine made you feel worse than you expected, you’re not alone. Skin rash, joint pain, flu-like symptoms, headaches and fatigue are some complaints from patients who’ve had the recently approved Shingrix vaccine. Side effects can last two or three days, and the injection site in the upper arm can hurt. “Part of the problem is that health care providers may not have fully understood the instructions of administration,” said Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Providers can refer to the website of Shingrix manufacturer GSK for complete administration instructions for this relatively unfamiliar vaccine, Dr. Swartz suggested. “As providers are more comfortable with it, I believe the administration errors would be expected to be reduced,” she said.

– Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Administrative Hassles In Addition To Side Effects

Private Shingles Vaccination With New Non

Dr. Carla Perissinotto, associate professor and associate clinical chief in the Division of Geriatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote in an email that she has seen few patients get the vaccine due to the complexities of reimbursement through Medicare.

You have to bill the patient and then submit to Medicare, said Perissinotto, who was not involved in the new CDC report. It is administratively difficult for clinics to store Shingrix and then bill Medicare.

Based on discussion among the few of my colleagues who have experience with the shingles vaccine, she believes Shingrix has not caused severe or numerous side effects: so far, it has seemed well tolerated.

We would use more if the payment structure were easier. Which means that many of our patients, who would benefit, are not getting what they need.

Dr. Alison Moore, chief of geriatrics and gerontology at UC San Diego Health, told CNN in an email that she regularly recommends the vaccine given its effectiveness and superiority over the prior version of the vaccine, Zostavax, a live CDC-recommended vaccine for adults age 60 and older.

Because Shingrix is not a live vaccine, more people can have it, added Moore, who was not involved in the CDC report.

Read Also: Will Insurance Cover Shingles Vaccine

What Should Immunocompromised Patients Know

Immunocompromised means that a persons body has:

  • a weakened immune system, and
  • is unable to fight off even a weakened form of a virus.
  • Zostavax is a live virus, which means a weakened form of the shingles virus is injected into a patients body. Since an immunocompromised patient has difficulty combatting weakened forms of a virus, these patients may actually develop shingles.

    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.

    Read Also: Treatment For Shingles Skin Rash

    Pain At Injection Site

    Pain at the injection site is a common side effect of many vaccines, including Shingrix. This pain is generally mild but can feel like anything from slight discomfort to deep bruising. In some cases, injection site pain can be severe enough to limit arm movement.

    To ease this discomfort, you can apply cold packs to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time.

    If these arent effective, over-the-counter pain remedies may help. However, if you have injection site pain that is severe or lasts longer than 2 to 3 days, follow up with your doctor.

    People Who Are Eligible For The Vaccine

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

    Your GP will offer you the vaccine if you were aged 70 on 1 September 2022 and were born:

    • between 2 September 1951 and 1 September 1952

    You are still eligible for the vaccine during 2022/ 2023 if you havent already received the vaccine and:

    • are aged between 71 and 79 years old
    • were born between 2 September 1942 and 1 September 1952

    If you fall into the group above you need to ask your GP for the vaccine.

    Also Check: Who Can Get The Shingles Vaccine

    What Could I Collect In A Zostavax Lawsuit

    If you are eligible to join a Zostavax lawsuit, your medical bills, suffering, lost wages, and more could be recoverable. Right now, a small group of six bellwether cases, known as Group A Bellwether Pool, is readying for trial. This case pool helps determine each sides weaknesses and strengths. It also helps with future settlement negotiations. Bellwether trial results are not binding.

    What Is Brain Damage

    Brain damage involves the destruction or deterioration of a persons brain cells.5

    Most Zostavax cases involving brain damage pertain to acquired brain injuries. These injuries are associated with pressure on the brain and may result from a neurological illness .6

    Symptoms of brain damage can include:

    • difficulty processing information,
    • sensory problems, and
    • bladder or bowel dysfunction.10

    Treatment typically involves medications and rehabilitative therapy. Most people that suffer from the condition recover at least partially. Severe cases of myelitis can lead to major disabilities.11

    Recommended Reading: Pictures Of Shingles On Leg

    When They Start How Long They Last

    The shingles vaccine is given in a two-shot series. You may experience side effects after the first, second, or both shots. Most of the time, these symptoms are mild and occur immediately following vaccination. They typically only last for two or three days.

    Side effects of the shingles vaccine are more common in younger people, and might interrupt your normal daily activities for a few days.

    This may seem like a downside of the shingles vaccine, but remember that these symptoms are a result of the creation of a strong shingles defense within your body.

    It is OK to take Tylenol or Advil after a shingles vaccine to relieve symptoms. Rest and plenty of fluids may help, too.

    Who Should Not Get Zostavax

    Vaccine side effects: Pfizer vaccine increases risk of shingles ...

    Some people should not get shingles vaccine :

    The Shingles Prevention Study involved individuals age 60 years and older and found that Zostavax significantly reduced disease in this age group. The vaccine is currently recommended for persons 60 years of age and older.

    • A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
    • A person who has a weakened immune system because of:
    • HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system,
    • treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids,
    • cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy, or
    • cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
  • Women who are or might be pregnant. Women should not become pregnant until at least 4 weeks after getting shingles vaccine.
  • Someone with a minor acute illness, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. But anyone with a moderate or severe acute illness should usually wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3°F or higher.

    This information was taken from the Shingles Vaccine Information Statement dated 10/06/2009.

    Don’t Miss: What Do Shingles Look Like On The Face

    Patient Reports Of Side Effects

    During the first eight months of Shingrixs post-marketing use, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or VAERS, received 4,381 total reports of adverse events of these 130 were serious.

    For every 100,000 doses distributed, the CDC found 136 complaints filed in the system. Approximately 3.2 million doses were distributed by GlaxoSmithKline during the eight-month period of reporting analyzed by the CDC.

    Fever, chills and body aches and pain, swelling and redness in the arm receiving the shot were common side effects.

    Yet seven patients died within six hours to six weeks of receiving Shingrix, the CDC said. The cause of four of these deaths was cardiovascular disease . Two were immunosuppressed patients who died of sepsis. And one 86-year-old woman died after a fall. v An eighth death after the use of Shingrix was also reported to VAERS, though this was not confirmed by the CDC.

    Dr. Elisabeth M. Hesse, lead author of the report and a medical officer in the CDCs Office of Immunization Safety, wrote in an email that no information in medical documentation indicated the reported deaths were related to vaccination.

    She noted that the Rotashield vaccine for infants was withdrawn from the market after reports to VAERS of bowel obstruction and an investigation that verified these claims.

    Weighing The Risks Vs Benefits

    The vaccine to prevent shingles will help you to avoid shingles symptoms, which in most cases are quite mild but may cause intense pain in some people.

    Shingles symptoms come in two stages: the prodromal stage and the eruptive stage. In the first stage, your symptoms may include:

    About three to five days later, you develop a prickly and painful pimple-like rash. These pimples turn into blisters during this eruptive stage, and your skin may be red and swollen. Shingles sores also can affect your mouth, which is another symptom the vaccine can prevent.

    Shingles isn’t generally life-threatening. It can be, though, if your immune system is compromised. During an outbreak and after the rash clears up, some people may experience complications that require immediate medical attention.

    Common ones include:

    • Postherpetic neuralgia : Damaged nerves cause lingering pain for three months or more.
    • Bacterial skin infections: When shingles blisters pop, bacteria can get in.
    • Eye damage: One branch of the trigeminal nerve goes to the eye. Damage there can lead to eye damage, which can be severe.

    While you may experience side effects with the vaccine, the benefits outweigh the risks of shingles symptoms and complications in most people.

    If you were vaccinated with Zostavaxa shingles vaccine that is no longer being givenask your healthcare provider about getting the Shingrix vaccine.

    Read Also: Does Blue Cross Cover Shingles Vaccine

    Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccines

    What patients can expect after Shingrix or Zostavax injections.

    Any medicine, including vaccines, carries a risk of adverse events or side effects. The CDC estimates that vaccine-related reactions occur once in a million doses, usually within a few minutes or hours of the injection. Generally they are minor and subside within a day or two.

    The two available vaccines for shingles-Shingrix and Zostavax-each has its own associated side effects. Patients should be informed about what to expect prior to vaccination to help them manage their expectations.


    GSK, the manufacturer of Shingrix, says its most common side effects include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site muscle pain tiredness headache shivering fever and upset stomach. While severe allergic reactions are less common, they may range from hives, swelling of the face and throat, and difficulty breathing to a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness.

    In Shingrix clinical trials, the majority of people complained of mild to moderate pain in their arm, as well as redness and swelling at the injection site. About one in six people experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities for two to three days. These side effects were reportedly more common in younger people.


    Both Merck, which manufacturers Zostavax, and GSK acknowledge that their vaccines may not protect all individuals, so some people who get shingles vaccine may still develop shingles.

    What Does The Shingles Virus Do

    What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

    Shingles is a viral infection that is caused by varicella-zoster virus , which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who previously had chickenpox, still has the virusit just lies dormant in the body and can develop into the shingles later in life. This is why anyone previously infected with chickenpox can become infected with shingles.

    The shingles virus causes a rash to break out, which can often cause itching, burning, and pain. It can last anywhere between two to four weeks and the majority of people infected with the virus do make a full recovery.


    The first symptoms to show are: fever, weakness, burning, and tingling. A few days after the initial symptoms, the first signs of the rash will appear. Red or pink blotchy patches will start to appear on your body and can cause shooting pain in some cases, possibly even spreading to the eye. During this stage, shingles is not contagious.

    After the initial few days, the rash develops into blisters, which are like chickenpox. They develop over the course of a few days, although they dont spread over your entire body. Blisters commonly occur on the torso and face.

    Once blisters develop, shingles can become contagious. No one can catch shingles from someone infected with it, but if you have never had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, you can contract chickenpox from someone who has shingles.

    Recommended Reading: Best Time To Get Second Shingles Vaccine

    Can Zostavax Cause Shingles

    Yes. Shingles is a side effect of Zostavax that Merck & Co. added to the label at the request of the FDA in . The FDA also strengthened warnings about serious infections and infestations with the virus in the vaccine.

    In Australia, safety officials have reported the death of sick patients who were given Zostavax and warned that it should not be given to patients with compromised immune systems due to the risk of death from serious infections with the vaccine virus.

    What Causes Shingles

    You can develop shingles after experiencing chickenpox. This is because the varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox and lies dormant in your nervous system after you recover.

    At some point, the virus can reactivate. It moves along nerve pathways to your skin. Once there, shingles appear. Its important to note that shingles do not develop in everyone who had chickenpox.

    A clear cause of shingles is unknown. However, its more common in those with lowered immune systems or older adults. The highest occurrence of shingles is in adults aged 50 or older.

    Shingles Symptoms

    Typically, the first sign of a shingles infection is pain that can be intense. Because pain and shingles are usually present on the torso, it gets mistaken for heart, kidney, or lung issues. Still, some people only experience pain, and the rash never appears.

    Symptoms typically affect a small portion of one side of the body. Sufferers may experience:

    • Tingling, numbness, pain, or burning sensation
    • Skin is sensitive
    • A red rash that appears days after the pain begins
    • Blisters that pop open and scab over
    • Light sensitivity

    The shingles rash often resembles a stripe of blisters wrapping around one side of the torso, face or neck, or around one eye.

    Shingles Complications

    Some people suffer complications after the shingles rash subsides. These commonly include:

    Don’t Miss: What Does Shingles Look Like When It First Appears

    Is The Vaccine Safe

    The vaccine can be given to people with a previous history of shingles infection. It should not be given to anyone who currently has shingles. As stated above, the vaccine should not be given to people who are clinically immunosuppressed because the vaccine strain could replicate too much and cause a serious infection. For more information see the MHRA’s Drug Safety Update .

    In clinical trials of the vaccine, there have been no reports of someone who was vaccinated passing the virus on to anyone else. However, because the shingles vaccine is a live vaccine, it is thought that this may be possible in rare cases.

    There is thought to be a very small risk that someone who has been vaccinated could pass on the virus to someone who is not immune to chickenpox. This is only thought to be a risk if the person who has been vaccinated develops a shingles type rash at the injection site or elsewhere on the body.

    The shingles vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women as a matter of caution. However, studies have been carried out on pregnant women who have accidentally received chickenpox or shingles vaccines. These have not shown any link between the weakened virus in the vaccine and any specific problems in babies born to these women. See this Public Health England statement for more information.

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