Tuesday, April 9, 2024

What Age Do You Get The Shingles Vaccine

The Biology Behind That Blistering Rash

Infectious Diseases A-Z: If you are over age 50, get your shingles vaccine

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.

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.

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:

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Are There Any Reasons I Shouldn’t Have The Shingles Vaccine

You shouldn’t have the shingles vaccine if:

  • you’ve had a severe reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine
  • you’ve had a severe reaction to a previous dose of the chickenpox vaccine

If you don’t have a severely weakened immune system, the shingles vaccine you’ll be offered contains a small trace of pork gelatine.

Gelatine is a common and essential ingredient in many medicines, including some vaccines.

Many faith groups, including Muslim and Jewish communities, have approved the use of gelatine-containing vaccines. It is, however, an individual choice whether or not to receive the shingles vaccine.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingrix

Check if you have shingles

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.

Recommended Reading: When Are You Contagious With Shingles

Vaccine Effectiveness And Safety

The vaccine reduces your chance of getting the virus by more than 50%, depending on your age. Vaccine effectiveness is higher among seniors between 65 and 70 years old.

No vaccine is 100% effective. If you get vaccinated, you may still develop shingles. But the infection would likely be less severe and youd be better protected from complications.

The vaccine has been licenced by Health Canada, having met all requirements under the Food and Drugs Act.

What To Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Who needs it? The CDC recommends that everyone 50 and older get Shingrix, even if they had the earlier recommended vaccine Zostavax, or if theyve already had a bout of shingles. Older adults should also get this vaccine, whether or not they remember having had chickenpox as a child. Why? More than 99 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have been exposed to the varicella-zoster virus, even if they dont recall getting chickenpox.

How often? The CDC recommends that older adults, as described above, get this vaccine, which is given in two doses spaced two to six months apart. The shot is more than 90 percent effective after youve had both shots.

Why you need it: One in 3 people will get painful, occasionally debilitating shingles, usually after age 50, and the risk increases with age. By age 85, half of adults will have experienced at least one outbreak.

An important note: Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, Medicare enrollees with Part D wont have any out-of-pocket costs for vaccines that the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends for adults, including the shingles vaccine, under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

A COVID connection?

A large observational study, published in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases, makes clear how important it is for older adults to get both the COVID-19 vaccine and the shingles vaccine.

However, the researchers stress that people should not use these results as an excuse not to get COVID-19 shots.

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How Funding For Vaccines Is Decided

Pharmac is responsible for deciding which vaccines are funded and what groups are eligible for free vaccines. Pharmacs Pharmacology and Therapeutics Advisory Committee considered the cost and benefits when determining the appropriate age to offer a free shingles vaccine and recommended that free vaccination at 65 years was the best approach.

You can find further information about the funding of shingles vaccine on Pharmacs website:

Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine

Getting Shingles at a younger age

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.

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Is There Anything Else You Think Is Important For People To Know About The Shingles Virus Or The Vaccine

The best way to prevent shingles and avoid its complications is to get vaccinated. Data shows that almost everyone older than age 40 has been exposed to chickenpox at some point. Even if you dont remember having chickenpox as a child, you should get the vaccine.

Glen P. Carlson, MD, HealthPartners

*According to the CDC website: Zostavax 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.

Counseling Patients About Shingrix

Know the benefits and side effects of Shingrix so youre prepared to talk with your patients before administering the vaccine.

What to tell patients about Shingrix benefits:

  • You can protect yourself against shingles. Shingles is a very painful disease, and your risk of getting it increases as you age. Also, you are more likely to have severe, long-term pain if you get shingles when you are older. About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime.
  • Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and long-term pain from the disease. Two doses of Shingrix are more than 90% effective at preventing shingles. So its very important that you get this vaccine.

What to tell patients about Shingrix side effects:

What to tell patients about dose two:

  • You need to come back in 2 to 6 months for your second dose. We can make that appointment now.
  • Even if you have side effects from the first dose, it is important to get the second dose to build strong protection against shingles. Your reaction to each dose may be different just because you have a reaction to the first dose does not mean that you will have a reaction to the second.

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How Can You Prevent Shingles

Vaccination is the ONLY way to reduce the risk of getting shingles. The CDC recommends that people aged 50 years and older get two doses of the Shingrix® shingles vaccine.

If you have questions about your shingles vaccination, you should talk with your Rite Aid Pharmacist or other health care professional.

Contraindications And Precautions For Shingles Vaccination

Ask your GP about the shingles vaccination

Zostavax should not be administered to:

  • A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of herpes zoster vaccine.
  • 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 herpes zoster 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.

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    How Much Does The Shingles Vaccine Cost

    Shingles vaccines are not publicly funded in B.C. One dose of Zostavax costs about $200 each dose of Shingrix is about $150. Both vaccines are available at most travel clinics and pharmacies. Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers the cost of these vaccines.Get immunized against shingles by making an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist or travel clinic.

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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.

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    Who Should Not Get Zostavax

    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.

    Are There Side Effects

    Who Should Get the New Shingles Vaccine?

    Most people dont develop side effects from the shingles vaccine, but some can occur. The vaccine is injected into your arm, so pain and soreness at the injection site are common.

    The FDA also issued a warning in 2021 that there may an association between receiving the vaccine and developing Guillain-Barré Syndrome , though the relationship is poorly understood and more research is needed.

    GBS is a rare condition in which your bodys immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

    Read Also: How To Naturally Get Rid Of Shingles

    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.

    Know The Benefits And The Side Effects

    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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    What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision

    Check the facts

    • That’s right. The vaccine greatly lowers your chances of getting shingles.
    • Sorry, that’s wrong. The shingles vaccine greatly lowers your chances of getting shingles.
    • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” The shingles vaccine greatly lowers your chances of getting shingles.
    • You’re right. But even if you do get shingles, your symptoms are likely to be much milder.
    • Sorry, that’s wrong. You could still get shingles, but your chances are a lot lower with the vaccine.
    • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” You could still get shingles, but your chances are a lot lower with the vaccine.
    • You’re right. The CDC recommends two doses of the shingles vaccine.
    • Sorry, that’s wrong. The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine.
    • It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine.

    1. How sure do you feel right now about your decision?

    Is There Anyone Who Should Not Have The Shingles Vaccination

    Shingles

    There are 2 shingles vaccines available in the UK:

    • Zostavax, a live vaccine given as 1 dose
    • Shingrix, a non-live vaccine given as 2 doses

    If Zostavax is not suitable for you, a GP or practice nurse will decide whether to offer you Shingrix instead.

    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.

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