Wednesday, April 17, 2024

When Should You Get A Shingles Shot

Who Should Not Get A Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccine: Should I get it?

If your immune system is weakened for any reason, or if you have tuberculosis, you should not get a shingles vaccine. Its also not recommended if youre getting radiation or chemotherapy, or if youve had leukemia or lymphoma.

Those who are pregnant should not receive the shingles vaccine, and women should not plan on conceiving for at least three months after receiving the shot.

Some people may be allergic to some of the ingredients in the vaccine, such as gelatin. If youre not sure, or if you have any concerns, just speak with us. Well be glad to provide details to help you make the right decision.

How Do People Get Shingles

People get shingles when the virus that causes chicken pox, varicella zoster, is reactivated in their body. The varicella zoster virus doesnt leave the body, even after a person has recovered from chicken pox. It can flare up again, causing shingles, often many years after a person has had chicken pox. The virus tends to reactivate when a persons immune system is weakened because of another health problem.

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Why Is Shingrix Administered In Two Doses

Shingrix is typically given in two doses, usually as a shot to the upper arm.

A 2021 study found that adults over 65 were significantly less likely to develop either shingles or PHN after getting two doses of Shingrix than they were after one dose. Two doses of Shingrix also offered better protection against shingles complications to adults over 80 and immunocompromised adults.

Previously, Zostavax was offered to older and immunocompromised adults to prevent shingles, PHN, and other shingles-related health problems. Zostavax is a live vaccine, which means it contains a weakened version of the herpes zoster virus. Shingrix is a recombinant vaccine, meaning that it uses only a small piece of the virus.

In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved Shingrix for the prevention of shingles and related complications. Zostavax is no longer available in the U.S. People who have gotten Zostavax in the past should now get Shingrix.

Studies have shown that Zostavaxa one-dose vaccineis generally less effective than two doses of Shingrix in preventing shingles complications among older and immunocompromised adults. Shingrix currently offers the best chance of protection against shingles, PHN, and shingles-related hospitalization.

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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:

What Vaccines Can Help Prevent Shingles

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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.

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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?

Reasons To Get The Shingles Vaccine

Once a person develops chickenpox after contracting the varicella-zoster virus, the virus never leaves the body. It remains dormant in the nerve roots and can reappear as shingles later in life.

The primary symptom of shingles is a painful rash on one side of the body, most often on the torso or face. People initially have pain or a burning sensation on the skin without a rash, and then painful blisters develop. The rash lasts approximately seven to 10 days and fully clears within two to four weeks.

The likelihood of developing shingles increases dramatically after age 50. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults age 50 and over receive two doses of Shingrix to prevent shingles. The vaccine is recommended even if a person is unsure if they have ever had chickenpox.

People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for shingles. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration also recently approved Shingrix vaccination for adults age 18 and older who are at risk for shingles due to immunodeficiency or immunosuppression caused by an underlying disease or medication.

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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.

Should I Get A Vaccine

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Doctors say most healthy people over 50 should get Shingrix, as well as anyone 19 or older who are immunocompromised. Itâs available at pharmacies as well as doctorsâ offices. Most people have been exposed to the chickenpox even if they didnât actually develop symptoms.

You should get the Shingrix vaccine unless:

  • You are allergic to any part of the vaccine
  • Had a blood test that proves you never had chicken pox
  • Have shingles now
  • Are breastfeeding or nursing.

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When Should You Get Immunised Against Shingles

Anyone aged 60 years and over who wants to protect themselves against shingles can talk to their doctor about getting immunised.

Shingles immunisation is recommended for:

  • adults aged 60 years and over who have not previously received zoster vaccine
  • adults aged 70 years to 79 years, for free under the National Immunisation Program
  • adults aged 50 or over who live in the same household as someone who has a weakened immune system.

How Long Shingles Lasts And How Serious It Can Be

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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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.

What Is The Best Age To Get A Shingles Vaccine

What You Should Know About the Shingrix Vaccine for Shingles Prevention
  • What Is the Best Age to Get a Shingles Vaccine? Topic Guide
  • The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults 50 years and older receive the shingles vaccine to reduce the chance of developing shingles.

    Adults 19 years and older with weakened immune systems should also get two doses of shingles vaccine, due to a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications. There is no maximum age for getting the shingles vaccine.

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    What Is The Shingles Vaccine

    The shingles vaccine can protect you against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , which is the most common complication of shingles. Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The rash usually develops on one side of your body or face. It starts with red bumps and then the bumps turn into fluid-filled blisters.

    When Should I Get The Second Dose

    The CDC recommends that adults ages 50 and older get a second dose of Shingrix two to six months after their first dose. If youve waited longer than six months since your first dose of Shingrix, its safe to get a second dose right away. Most people dont need to repeat the first dose.

    Some immunocompromised adults may need a second dose within one to two months. If you have a disease or are taking medication that affects your immune system, talk to your healthcare provider about the best timeline for your two doses of the shingles vaccine.

    Read Also: How Long Should Shingles Pain Last

    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.

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    What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine

    Should you get the new vaccine for shingles?

    Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles.

    CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix, as they have a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.

    Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.

    Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Immunity stays strong for at least the first 7 years after vaccination. In adults with weakened immune systems, studies show that Shingrix is 68%-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the condition that affects the immune system.

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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.

    Why You Shouldn’t Get The Shingles Vaccine

    • Medical Reviewer: Dany Paul Baby, MD

    Medically Reviewed on 5/24/2022

  • Why You Shouldn’t Get the Shingles Vaccine Center
  • Shingles is a disease that usually presents with a painful rash that affects one in three people in their lifetime. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox the herpes virus varicella-zoster. More than 99% of people born before 1980 have had chickenpox and have this virus dormant in the brain or spinal cord.

    Shingles activates when your immunity is low, usually with advancing age. The currently used recombinant zoster vaccine is safe and effective. But not everyone who is a candidate for the shingles vaccine should take it. Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccine has benefits and harms. You should know about both and make an informed decision about taking it.

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    The Shingles Vaccination And Costs

    The first shingles vaccine, Zostavax, was introduced in 2006 and contains a much weakened chicken pox virus. This attenuated dose stimulates your immune system to continue fighting the latent virus, keeping it dormant in your nerve tissue. The vaccine is FDA-approved for people over the age of 50, with the CDC recommending vaccination for those age 60 and older.

    A new vaccine was introduced in 2017, Shingrix, with a much higher efficacy rate. Shingrix is administered in two shots over a six month period and has the benefit of being 90% effective in preventing shingles.

    Insurance coverage and cost vary greatly. Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans with built-in drug coverage cover the shingles vaccine. Keep in mind that there may be a copay involved or you may have to pay out of pocket and then seek reimbursement. Most private insurance plans cover the shot for beneficiaries who are 60 or older.

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

    Should I Get Shingles Vaccine If I Didn

    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 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.

    Why More Adults Arent Getting The Super

    Despite such impressive results, only about 35 percent of adults 60 and older reported receiving the shingles vaccine in 2018. Whats behind the hesitation? A couple of things. First, says Kristin Christensen, M.D., an internal medicine specialist affiliated with Penn Medicine, in Radnor, Pennsylvania, some of us dont take shingles as seriously as we should: People think, If its not going to kill me I dont need it, without realizing that singles can be incapacitating, causing severe pain that can really limit peoples functioning.

    Whats more, difficulty in getting the vaccine may have discouraged those who sought out the vaccine earlier on. The company that makes the vaccine couldnt keep up with the initial demand, resulting in long waiting lists at pharmacies that dispensed the vaccines.

    Then theres the hit to your wallet. Shingrix costs on average about $195 per injection, and two injections are required. But unlike the flu and pneumonia vaccines, which are fully covered as preventive services under Medicare Part B, the shingles shot falls under the prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D. Depending on your plan, even after youve met your annual deductible youll likely end up shelling out money for it. If youre between the ages of 50 and 65, and covered by a private health insurance, ask your doctor about getting your vaccine now, while youve got good coverage, Schaffner suggests.

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