Thursday, April 11, 2024

When Is The Shingles Vaccine Recommended

Who’s Most At Risk Of Shingles

Shingles vaccine is recommended for healthy older adults

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 .

Flu Vaccine For Older Adults

Flu short for influenza is a virus that can cause fever, chills, sore throat, stuffy nose, headache, and muscle aches. Flu is very serious when it gets in your lungs. Older adults are at a higher risk for developing serious complications from the flu, such as pneumonia.

The flu is easy to pass from person to person. The virus also changes over time, which means you can get it again. To ensure flu vaccines remain effective, the vaccine is updated every year.

Everyone age 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine, but the protection from a flu vaccine can lessen with time, especially in older adults. Still, you are less likely to become seriously ill or hospitalized with the flu if you get the vaccine. A flu vaccine is especially important if you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease or diabetes.

Ideally, you should get your vaccine by the end of October each year so you are protected when the flu season starts. It takes at least two weeks for the vaccine to be effective. However, if you have not received your flu vaccine by the end of October, its not too late flu season typically peaks in December or January. As long as the flu virus is spreading, getting vaccinated will help protect you.

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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Make A Plan To Get 2 Doses

  • You can get Shingrix at your doctors office or pharmacy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting Shingrix.
  • Plan to get your second dose of Shingrix 2 to 6 months after your first dose.

Five years later, I still take prescription medication for pain. My shingles rash quickly developed into open, oozing sores that in only a few days required me to be hospitalized. I could not eat, sleep, or perform even the most minor tasks. It was totally debilitating. The pain still limits my activity levels to this day.

A 63-year-old harpist who was unable to continue playing due to shingles

Contraindications And Precautions For Shingles Vaccination

National Shortage of Shingrix (Shingles Vaccine)

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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    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.

    Whos Most At Risk Of Shingles

    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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    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.

    What Are The Benefits Of The Shingles Vaccine

    What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

    The shingles vaccines are the best way to protect you from getting shingles. The vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of getting shingles by 50% for Zostavax® II, and to more than 90% for Shingrix®.

    For those who still get shingles after being immunized, the vaccines can reduce pain, including the type of pain that lasts after shingles.

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    What Is The Shingles Vaccine

    The shingles vaccine prevents herpes zoster, otherwise known as shingles. Shingles is a condition that causes a painful, blistering rash on one side of the face or body. This rash usually appears in a limited area on the skin, sometimes in the form of a stripe or patch. In many cases, the rash shows up after strange sensations, such as tingling or itching, have occurred in the same area. The rash turns into blisters and can be intensely painful. Shingles can also cause:

    The most common complication of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia, the lingering nerve pain after the rash goes away . It can be long-lasting and debilitating. Other complications can occur, depending on which part of your body shingles affects. Complications can include:

    • Brain inflammation

    • Vision changes or blindness

    The vaccine is not intended to treat shingles or its complications, only to prevent them. It is given as an injection into the upper arm muscle in two doses that are spaced 2 to 6 months apart.

    Why Is The Shingles Vaccine Important

    Shingles causes a painful rash and blisters and it can lead to serious complications. The most common complication is post-herpetic neuralgia , a condition that causes burning pain that can last long after the shingles rash and blisters go away. The older you are when you get shingles, the more likely you are to develop PHN.

    Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent shingles and PHN.

    Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the chickenpox virus stays dormant in your body. The virus can activate years later and cause shingles.

    Symptoms of shingles include:

    Shingles cant spread from person to person like chickenpox. But if you have shingles, you can spread the virus to someone who isnt immune to chickenpox meaning someone who hasnt had chickenpox and isnt vaccinated against it. If that happened, the person might get chickenpox but not shingles. Learn more about shingles.

    • Adults age 50 and older
    • Adults 19 years and older who have a weakened immune system because of disease or treatments

    You need to get 2 doses of Shingrix. Youll need the second dose 2 to 6 months after the first dose. You need to get Shingrix even if you:

    • Have already had shingles
    • Have been vaccinated against shingles with Zostavax
    • Are not sure if youve had chickenpox

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    How Long After Ive Received The Shingles Vaccine Am I Contagious

    With the currently authorized shingles vaccine, Shingrix, you wont be contagious. The old vaccine, Zostavax, used a weakened form of the live varicella-zoster virus. Therefore, people worried about spreading the disease to the people around them.

    Shingrix doesnt use a live version of the varicella-zoster virus. It is inactivated, which means it uses a dead version of the virus. Therefore, you have no risk of transmitting the disease to anyone.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    No one likes to get shots, especially for something youve already been vaccinated for. But the newer version of the shingles vaccine is one youll want to offer up your arm for. The Shingrix vaccine is more than 90% effective at helping you prevent shingles. Since most of us have had chickenpox in the past, the shingles vaccine is an easy way to prevent the dormant chickenpox virus from creeping up and hitting you again with shingles.

    Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine

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    The CDC recommends all healthy adults ages 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine to prevent shingles and problems that can develop after youve had the disease. The two doses should be separated by two to six months. You should get the shingles vaccine even if you:

    • Have had shingles: If youve had shingles in the past, you should get the shingles vaccine to help prevent getting the disease again. You should wait until the shingles rash is gone before getting the vaccine.
    • Arent sure if youve had chickenpox: Studies show more than 99% of Americans ages 40 and older have had chickenpox at some point in their lives. You should get the shingles vaccine whether or not you remember having chickenpox because theyre caused by the same virus.
    • Received the old shingles vaccine : Before November 18, 2020, people were vaccinated with a shingles vaccine called Zostavax. You cant get Zostavax in the United States anymore. If you were vaccinated with Zostavax, you should get vaccinated with the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix.

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    What Are The Possible Reactions After The Vaccine

    The shingles vaccines are very safe. Common reactions to the vaccines include headache as well as soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Itching and a rash may also occur after getting Zostavax® II. Other reactions that may occur after getting Shingrix® include fever, muscle soreness, fatigue, shivering, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

    It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is an extremely rare possibility, less than 1 in a million, of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

    It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.

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    Tetanus Diphtheria And Pertussis Vaccines

    Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis are diseases caused by bacteria that can lead to serious illness and death.

    • Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in soil, dust, and manure. It can enter the body through a deep cut or burn.
    • Diphtheria is a serious illness that can affect the tonsils, throat, nose, or skin. It can spread from person to person.
    • Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, causes uncontrollable, violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It can spread from person to person.

    Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Most people get vaccinated as children, but you also need booster shots as you get older to stay protected against these diseases. The CDC recommends that adults get a Tdap or Td booster shot every 10 years. Ask a health care provider when you need your booster shot.

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    Who Should Get Zostavax

    People 60 years of age or older should get shingles vaccine . They should get the vaccine whether or not they recall having had chickenpox, which is caused by the same virus as shingles. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans aged 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember getting the disease. There is no maximum age for getting shingles vaccine.

    Two vaccines are licensed and recommended to prevent shingles in the U.S.. Zoster vaccine live has been in use since 2006. Recombinant zoster vaccine , has been in use since 2017 and is recommended by ACIP as the preferred shingles vaccine.

    Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time you must wait after having shingles before receiving shingles vaccine, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated. The decision on when to get vaccinated should be made with your healthcare provider.

    Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about shingles vaccine. Shingles vaccine is available in doctors offices and pharmacies. To find doctors offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit Zostavax or HealthMap Vaccine Finder.

    Routine Vaccination Of People 60 Years Old And Older

    New Shingles Vaccine

    CDC recommends a single dose of Zostavax® for people 60 years old or older, whether or not the person reported a prior episode of herpes zoster . People with chronic medical conditions may be vaccinated unless a contraindication or precaution exists for their condition. Zostavax is a live virus vaccine. It can be administered concurrently with all other live and inactivated vaccines, including those routinely recommended for people 60 years old and older, such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccines.

    When vaccinating people 60 years old or older, there is no need to screen for a history of varicella infection or to conduct laboratory testing for serologic evidence of prior varicella infection. Even if a person reports that they have not had varicella, they can still receive the herpes zoster vaccine. The Zostavax®zoster vaccine package insert makes no reference to varicella history, and almost all people 60 years old or older are immune to varicella. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices states that people born in the United States prior to 1980 are considered immune to varicella. If serologic evidence of varicella susceptibility becomes available to the healthcare provider, the patient should be offered varicella vaccine not herpes zoster vaccine.

    The general guideline for any vaccine is to wait until the acute stage of the illness is over and symptoms abate.

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    First Could You Describe Briefly What Shingles Is

    Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus which is the same virus that causes chicken pox. After you have had chicken pox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue and years later can reactivate, causing a painful rash that looks like blisters. Most often the rash appears in a line around the right or left side of your torso, but can affect any part of the body including the face and eyes. Individuals have a 20-30% chance of getting shingles during their lifetime, and it is more likely to occur when you get older. The most common complication of shingles is post herpetic neuralgia, which causes persistent pain long after the blisters have disappeared and can last for months.

    What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

    Its normal to have questions before you get a vaccine. Some common questions you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider include:

    • When should I get the shingles vaccine?
    • What side effects should I expect?
    • How does the shingles vaccine work?
    • When should I schedule each dose of the shingles vaccine?
    • How effective is the shingles vaccine?
    • Is there any reason I shouldnt get the shingles vaccine?
    • What could happen if I dont get the shingles vaccine?

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