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What Age Can You Get Shingles Vaccine

How Effective Is The Shingles Vaccine In Preventing Shingles

Getting Shingles at a younger age

The shingles vaccine can provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most commonly occurring shingles complication.

The shingles vaccine is 97% effective in preventing shingles in people ages 50 to 69 years old. Its 91% effective in people ages 70 years and older.

In addition, the shingles vaccine is 91% effective in preventing PHN in people ages 50 to 69 years old. Its 89% effective in people ages 70 years and older.

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There used to be two shingles vaccines available in the United States: Zostavax and Shingrix. As of November 2020, Zostavax is no longer available in the United States. Shingrix, however, is safe and effective. The Shingrix vaccine is given in two doses two to six months apart.

People who previously got the Zostavax vaccine should now get the Shingrix vaccine. Zostavax was much less effective at preventing shingles than Shingrix, and what protection Zostavax gave waned within five years. Talk to a healthcare provider about getting Shingrix if you had Zostavax.

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.

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There is a vaccine that helps reduce your risk of getting shingles and reduces the severity of symptoms if you develop the disease.

Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Anyone can develop shingles because most people have had chickenpox .

This guide describes shingles, the Zostavax vaccine and the benefits of the vaccination and who is eligible for the vaccine this year. If you have problems with your immune system and cannot have the live Zostavax vaccine you may be eligible for 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine.

The Biology Behind That Blistering Rash

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During the initial exposure to chickenpox, some of the virus particles settle into the nerve cells around the spinal cord and brain. When the virus reactivates sometimes decades later, as a result of things like stress it travels down those nerve fibers to the skin. As the virus multiplies, the telltale rash erupts.

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How To Prevent Shingles

The best way to prevent shingles is through vaccinations. The CDC recommends individuals 50 years or older to get two doses of Shingrix, a vaccine for shingles, which provides over 90% protection.

Shingrix is a recombinant vaccine, which means it is made from just a part of the virus and, therefore, the virus cannot replicate. The vaccine does not cause the infection itself. Shingrix also protects individuals against the complication of PHN.

Individuals who are 19 years or older and are immunocompromised should also receive two doses of Shingrix. However, the effectiveness of Shingrix varies if you are immunocompromised. Studies show a 68%â91% efficacy, with percentages differing based on the underlying health condition you may have.

Can You Describe The Vaccine How Long Has It Been Around Is There A New Brand On The Market Thats Showing Better Efficacy

One shingles vaccine, Shingrix, is available in the United States. It was licensed by the FDA in 2017. The manufacturer of a previous vaccine, Zostavax, discontinued making this vaccine in 2020.* In clinical trials, Shingrix was 97% effective at preventing shingles in adults ages 50-69 and 91% for adults 70 years and older. Shingrix is not a live vaccine.

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Why Can’t You Get The Shingles Vaccine Before 50

  • Why Can’t You Get the Shingles Vaccine Before 50? Topic Guide
  • Shingles is a painful belt-like patterned rash caused by varicella-zoster virus . Shingles is more common in adults over 50 years of age and in people with conditions that weaken the immune system.

    The varicella-zoster virus is a type of herpesvirus. Other herpesviruses include the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores and genital herpes.

    The shingles vaccine is available for adults 50 years and older to reduce the chance of developing shingles. Shingrix requires two doses administered two to six months apart. The two doses of Shingrix are more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. Protection from the Shingrix shingles vaccine stays above 85% for at least four years after vaccination.

    The Shingrix shingles vaccine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in people under 50 years of age. However, adults 19 years and older with weakened immune systems may also get two doses of shingles vaccine, due to a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.

    The vaccine has only been tested in adults 50 years and older and The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices , a committee that is part of the Centers for Disease Control , does not recommend zoster vaccination for people younger than age 50 years regardless of their history of shingles.

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    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 Vaccines Can Help Prevent Shingles

    There is currently one vaccine available in the U.S. to prevent shingles. Shingrix was approved in 2017 and it is more than 90% effective in preventing shingles. With Shingrix, you get two shots between 2 and 6 months apart and protection lasts an estimated 4-5 years. Doctors recommend it for healthy people over 50 as well as those 19 years of age and older who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed due to disease or therapy..

    An earlier vaccine called Zostavax was removed from the market in 2020. That vaccine used a weak form of the chickenpox virus to send your bodyâs immune system into action to fight the disease. Shingrix does not. If you received the Zostavax vaccine, it is recommended that you also receive Shingrix.

    What Should I Do About An Exposure To Varicella

    If you have been in contact with someone with chickenpox or shingles, or if you have a rash-associated illness that might be chickenpox or shingles, discuss your situation with your healthcare provider. Blood tests may be done to see if you have become infected with the virus or have had the disease in the past. If you are pregnant and not immune and have been exposed to chickenpox or shingles, call your healthcare provider immediately. Your provider may choose to treat you with a medication called varicella-zoster immune globulin , but in order for this medication to be most helpful, it needs to be given as soon as possible after your exposure to varicella.

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    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 youve 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.

    What Are Shingles Know Your Risk At Any Age

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    No one expects to get shingles, but this mysterious health condition is more common than many realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , about one in three people in the U.S. will develop shingles during their lifetime.

    Your risk of getting shingles increases as you age. However, younger people can still get shingles. A 2016 study revealed that shingles in Americans under age 50 quadrupled from the late 1940s to the early 2000s.

    “Traditionally, shingles is something we see in patients who are in their 50s or older,” says Dr. Ara Thomassian, a primary care physician at Cedars-Sinai. “But in the past five years, I have seen a handful of younger patients get shingles.”

    “Shingles can be contagious. People oftentimes try to put some sort of cream on the rash to treat it, but this won’t prevent the spread of a contagious virus.”

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    Is There A Way I Can Keep From Being Infected With Chickenpox

    Yes, make sure all your vaccines are up to date, especially if you are planning a pregnancy. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and those you love. If you are not immune, you should be vaccinated. You will receive two doses of varicella vaccine one month apart. You should avoid becoming pregnant for at least one month after the last vaccination. Varicella vaccine should not be given to pregnant women. If you are pregnant, have your healthcare provider give you the varicella vaccine after your baby is delivered.

    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.

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    Should You Get Shingrix If You Had The Zostavax Shingles Vaccine

    It is recommended that you get two doses of Shingrix even if you got a different shingles vaccine in the past. Before Shingrix was approved, the Zostavax shingles vaccine was available. It was discontinued in November 2020 as Shingrix is much more effective. If you had the Zostavax vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider about getting Shingrix.

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    How Does The Shingles Vaccine Work

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    The vaccine recommended for most people is a live vaccine called Zostavax. It contains a weakened chickenpox virus . It’s similar, but not identical, to the chickenpox vaccine.

    People with a weakened immune system cannot have live vaccines. They will be offered a non-live vaccine called Shingrix. It activates the immune system but also contains an ingredient called an adjuvant, which helps to boost the response to the vaccine.

    Very occasionally, people develop chickenpox following shingles vaccination . Talk to a GP if this happens to you.

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    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.

    How Is Shingles Spread

    You do not catch shingles it comes on when theres a reawakening of chickenpox virus thats already in your body. The virus can be reactivated because of a range of issues, including advancing age, medicine, illness or stress.

    Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. Its estimated that around 1 in 5 people who have had chickenpox go on to develop shingles.

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    Are Chickenpox And Shingles Serious Illnesses

    The symptoms may be more severe in newborns, persons with weakened immune systems, and adults. Serious problems can occur and may include pneumonia , brain infection , and kidney problems. Many people are not aware that before a vaccine was available, approximately 10,600 persons were hospitalized, and 100 to 150 died, as a result of chickenpox in the U.S. every year.

    Know The Benefits And The Side Effects

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    Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and long-term nerve pain. You may experience some short-term side effects because Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system.

    After getting Shingrix:

    • Most people had a sore arm.
    • Many people had redness and swelling where they got the shot .
    • Many felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea.

    About 1 out of 6 people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities like yardwork or swimming. Side effects usually go away after 2 to 3 days. Remember that the pain from shingles can last a lifetime, and these side effects should only last a few days.

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    How Do You Get Immunised Against Shingles

    You can only get the shingles vaccine on its own, not as a combination vaccine. It is given as a needle.

    Shingles vaccines include:

    Note the Zostavax vaccine contains a small amount of the live virus. Some people may not be able to receive a live vaccine for medical reasons, please discuss with your doctor or immunisation provider for further information.

    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.

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    What Illnesses Does Varicella

    Chickenpox first occurs as a blister-like skin rash and fever. It takes from 10-21 days after exposure for someone to develop chickenpox. The sores commonly occur in batches with different stages present at the same time. The blisters usually scab over in 5 days. A person with chickenpox is contagious 1-2 days before the rash appears and until all blisters have formed scabs. Children with weakened immune systems may have blisters occurring for a prolonged time period. Adults can develop severe pneumonia and other serious complications.

    Shingles occurs when the virus, which has been inactive for some time, becomes active again. Severe pain and numbness along nerve pathways, commonly on the trunk or on the face, are present. Clusters of blisters appear 1 to 5 days later. The blisters are usually on one side of the body and closer together than in chickenpox. Shingles does not spread as shingles from one person to another. If people who have never had chickenpox come in contact with the fluid from shingles blisters, they can develop chickenpox.

    How Long Shingles Lasts And How Serious It Can Be

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    The rash usually appears a few days after the initial pain and tingling, and lasts for about a week. The older you are, the more likely you are to have long-lasting pain. Sometimes shingles develops in the eye and may also affect the eyelid.

    This can cause severe pain and lead to decreased vision or even permanent blindness in that eye. Most people recover fully, but for some, the pain goes on for several months or even years this is called post-herpetic neuralgia .

    This is a particularly unpleasant condition with severe burning, throbbing or stabbing nerve pain. The vaccine reduces the risk of getting shingles and PHN. Even if you still get shingles, the symptoms may be much reduced.

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