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What Is A Shingles Shot

Available Vaccines And Vaccination Campaigns

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Since 2008, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended most Americans aged 60 and older get the shingles vaccine. A newer recommendation was issued in 2018 with the licensure of a new vaccine: .

In adults 50-69 years old, Shingrix reduces the risk of shingles by more than 96%. For those 70 and older, the vaccine is 91.3% effective at preventing shingles. It similarly reduces the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia. Modeling studies project that protection will wane to 0 by 19 years after immunization. Study of the expected duration of protection is ongoing.

The antigen in Shingrix is a surface protein of the varicella zoster virus produced by culturing genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells. Vaccination consists of two doses of vaccine, given at months 0 and 2-6.

The older shingles vaccine is a live, attenuated vaccine. It was licensed in 2006. The generic name of the vaccine is Zoster Vaccine, Live . It is still available, although Shingrix is recommended over Zostavax because of its superior effectiveness and duration of protection.

People who have previously been vaccinated with Zostavax are recommended to vaccinate with Shingrix.

Most Medicare drug plans cover the cost of the shingle vaccine and its administration, minus any copayments, for people 65 and older. Most private insurance plans provide coverage for the vaccination for people 50 and older.

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 you’ve 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 Is The Shingrix Vaccine

Shingrix is the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationapproved vaccine aimed to prevent shingles infection in individuals older than 50 years and adults aged 18 years and older who are or who will be at increased risk of shingles due to a disease or therapy that can compromise the immunity.

The Herpes Zoster virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox in children. The virus may remain dormant in the persons nerve roots and become active when the immunity wanes .

The reactivated virus causes shingles or Herpes Zoster, a painful condition characterized by painful red blisters over the body, rash, and/or fever.

  • A particular complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia , which persists for months after the infection subsides.
  • It is characterized by extreme pain at the former site of rash and lesions.
  • This pain may or may not respond to strong medications hence, a vaccine against shingles is required.

The Shingrix vaccine works by exposing the body to small doses of the inactive herpes virus. This stimulates the bodys immune system and helps the body to develop an immunity to herpes zoster or shingles.

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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.

A Closer Look At The Safety Data

National Shortage of Shingrix (Shingles Vaccine)

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.

Shingrix

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.

Zostavax

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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.

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.

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How Many Doses Of The Vaccine Do I Need

In most cases, the shingles vaccine is given as one dose.

If you have a severely weakened immune system you will be offered a second dose of the vaccine at least 8 weeks after your first dose.

Speak to a healthcare professional about getting other vaccines at the same time so they can advise what’s best for your individual circumstances.

You should ideally wait seven days between the coronavirus vaccination and shingles vaccination.

How Does The Shingles Vaccine Work

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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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Zostavax And The Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine

The Summary of Product Characteristics for Zostavax, the shingles vaccine used in the UK, states that the vaccine should not be given at the same time as the Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine . This is because a clinical trial by the manufacturer had suggested this might make Zostavax less effective. However, the Department of Health advice is that the two vaccines can be given at the same time. This is based on expert advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation , and on research that showed no evidence that people receiving both vaccines together had any increased risk of developing shingles. Read the abstract of the 2011 study by Tseng et al .

How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety

CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.

CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:

  • The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
  • The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
  • The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.

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What Is The Brand Name Of The Shingles Vaccine

There are 2 shingles vaccines used in the UK:

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

Most people will have the Zostavax vaccine. The Shingrix vaccine is recommended if Zostavax is not suitable for you, for example if you have a condition that affects your immune system.

You can read more about the shingles vaccines in the patient information leaflets:

Who’s Most At Risk Of Shingles

Shingles vaccine may help prevent contracting debilitating case of ...

People tend to get shingles more often as they get older, especially over the age of 70. And the older you are, the worse it can be. The shingles rash can be extremely painful, such that sufferers cannot even bear the feeling of their clothes touching the affected skin.

The pain of shingles can also linger long after the rash has disappeared, even for many years. This lingering pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia .

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What Are The Side Effects

Shingrix can make the area where you get the shot swell or feel sore. Other effects include:

  • Many people who get the vaccine have muscle aches, headaches, or feel tired.
  • About 1 in 4 people have a fever or an upset stomach.

Younger people are more likely to have these side effects, and they typically last 2 or 3 days.

Itâs also possible to have an allergic reaction to an ingredient in the vaccine. If you have problems breathing, feel your face or throat swelling, or feel weak or dizzy after the shot, call 911 and get medical help right away.

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.

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Who Shouldn’t Get It

A person should not get Shingrix if:

  • They have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or the first dose of the vaccine.
  • They test negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus.
  • They currently have shingles.
  • They are pregnant.

If you are experiencing a moderate to severe illness, with a fever or not, you should consider waiting until you are better before getting the vaccine.

When They Start How Long They Last

Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

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.

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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.

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.

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Is The Shingles Vaccine Safe

The FDA have approved the use of both shingles vaccines in healthy adults over the age of 50.

However, there are some instances in which a person should not get either vaccine â if they are pregnant or breastfeeding, allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine, or have a weakened immune system, for example.

What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingles Immunisation

Shingles Vaccine: What You Should Know

All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time theyre not.

For most people, the chance of having a serious side effect from a vaccine is much lower than the chance of serious harm if you caught the disease.

Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of shingles vaccines, or if you have possible side effects that worry you.

Common side effects of shingles vaccines include:

  • pain, redness, swelling or itching where the needle went in

Serious reactions to immunisation are rare. With Zostavax® vaccination, very rarely a generalised chickenpox-like rash may occur around 24 weeks after vaccination. This may be associated with fever and feeling unwell. This rash may be a sign of a serious reaction to the virus in the vaccine. Seek medical attention and inform of recent Zostavax vaccination if you experience this reaction.

The Consumer Medicine Information links in How do you get immunised against shingles? list the side effects of each vaccine.

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How To Pay For Shingrix

Commercial insurance covers about 96% of insured people for the Shingrix vaccine. Most people with private insurance will pay under $5 for each dose.

Programs like Medicaid cover Shingrix in certain states. Medicare Parts A and B do not cover the shingles vaccine. But individuals covered under Medicare prescription drug plans, or Part D, will have their vaccines covered.

For people who do not have access to insurance, there are a number of vaccine assistance programs and affordable health coverage options available. Many of these programs provide vaccines at little or no cost.

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 Get Shingles Vaccine

Shingrix is a recommended vaccine for all adults age 50 years and older. In addition, everyone 19 years and older who have a weak immune system are now recommended to get Shingrix. Please talk with your primary care provider to see if you are eligible to get Shingrix. You can get this vaccine even if you have had shingles, previously received varicella vaccine or if you don’t know if you have had chickenpox in the past.

You can get a shingles vaccine if you have a minor illness, such as a cold. But if you are severely ill or have a temperature above 101.3 degrees, wait until you recover before getting shingles vaccine.

Know The Benefits And The Side Effects

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

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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Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine

You shouldnt receive the shingles vaccine if:

  • Youve had a previous severe allergic reaction to Shingrix or any of its ingredients.
  • Youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You have no immunity to chickenpox, which means you should get the chickenpox vaccine instead.

Having a mild illness like a cold isnt a reason to not get your shingles vaccine.

However, if you have a moderate to severe illness or a fever of 101.3 or higher, you should recover before getting your shingles vaccine.

state that the COVID-19 vaccine may be given without regard to the timing of other vaccines.

This means you dont have to wait to receive your COVID-19 and shingles vaccinations.

In fact, you can get your COVID-19 vaccine and shingles vaccine at the same time. If you choose to do this, make sure to receive your injections at two different sites.

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