Talk With Your Health Care Provider
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
- Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of recombinant shingles vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
- Is pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Is currently experiencing an episode of shingles.
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone shingles vaccination to a future visit.
People with minor illnesses, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting recombinant shingles vaccine.
Your health care provider can give you more information.
Flu Vaccines 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 because of 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.
You should get your vaccine ideally 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 as flu season typically peaks in December or January. As long as the flu virus is spreading, getting vaccinated will help protect you.
If Youre 50 Or Older Get Shingrix
- Shingrix provides strong protection from shingles and long-term nerve pain.
- Get Shingrix even if you already had shingles, because you can get the disease more than once.
- Your risk of shingles and complications increases as you age.
- You need 2 doses of Shingrix. Get the second dose 2 to 6 months after you get the first dose.
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Ask The Expert: Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine
If you suffered through chickenpox as a child, there is no doubt that you never want to experience that type of discomfort again. While its rare to get chickenpox twice, for many the chickenpox virus reappears years later in the form of another painful disease: shingles. In fact, there are approximately one million new cases of shingles each year. Drs. Alpana Goswami and Janna Lachtchinina, board certified internists, discuss the facts about shingles and the benefits of the shingles vaccine.
Who Needs A Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix is recommended for adults aged 50 or older. You should still get the vaccine even if youve had shingles in the past, as it is possible to get it again.
You can also get Shingrix if you received Zostavax in the past. This is important because studies have shown that the efficacy of Zostavax over time.
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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.
Vaccinate To Decrease Your Shingles Risk
Your chances of getting shingles increase as you get older. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults age 50 and older get vaccinated against shingles.
Two vaccines, recombinant zoster vaccine and zoster vaccine live are available in the United States to prevent shingles. Shingrix is the preferred vaccine.
The CDC recommends Shingrix for adults 50 years and older, whether or not they have already had shingles or previously received the Zostavaxvaccine, which has been used since 2006. You should get two doses of Shingrix, two to six months apart. Two doses of Shingrix are more than 90% effective at preventing shingles. Shingrix is also 90% effective in helping to prevent PHN in those who get shingles despite being vaccinated.
While Zostavax is still available, studies show it is less effective than Shingrix.Zostavax may be used in some healthy adults 60 years and older, for example, in those who are allergic to Shingrix.
There is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the shingles vaccine. But its probably best to hold off until the shingles rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.
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Is What My Internist Said Correct Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine And If So How Long Is The Vaccine Good For
No, you still need the vaccine, especially if they didnt prove it was shingles. Most people have no side effects from the shot, so unless you have another medical condition that compromises your immune system or have had a bad reaction in the past, there is no reason the side effects should scare you off. You should get the vaccine, definitely, if you are over 60.
Since the shingles vaccine is relatively new, how long the vaccine lasts is a question that’s still being studied. At this point we know the vaccine provides 5 years of protection at the very least, but it’s possible that you would only need to get it once in your life . By the time you would need a follow-up shot, the research will be much further along!
Do I Really Need The Shingles Vaccine
If youve ever had chicken poxa blistery, itchy disease thats most common in childrenthen you could also develop shingles at some point.
The varicella virus causes chicken pox, then goes latent in the nerve cells throughout your body, says Elisabeth Cohen, MD, professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and shingles researcher at NYU Langone Health. At any point in life, the virus could reactivate as herpes zoster, or shingles.
Shingles symptoms usually emerge as severe pain and blisters on one side of the body.
Studies have shown that people go to the emergency room because it’s a pain like they’ve never had, Dr. Cohen says. The shingles diagnosis is usually made when the rash follows, which can include red spots and blisters. The rash can be severe or relatively mild, but its usually in the distribution of a single nerve on one side of your body.
Although the shingles rash can be treated with antiviral medications, the viruss long-term effects can be severe. Shingles increases stroke and heart disease risk and may spread to nerves in ways that can cause lifelong pain , blindness in one eye, deafness in one ear, and other highly debilitating or deadly problems.
Shingles can really devastate peoples well-being for the rest of their lives, says Dr. Cohen.
The only way to avoid these serious risks is to prevent shingles altogether by getting vaccinated against the disease.
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What Is Shingles And How Can Shingrix Help Protect Against It
Shingles is an itchy and painful skin rash caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus . SHINGRIX works to boost your bodys protection against shingles. It is the only shingles vaccine proven to be greater than 90% effective in preventing shingles in adults 50 years and older in clinical trials.
If I Have Shingles Now Can I Get Vaccinated
The shingles vaccine is used to prevent shingles and it will not help if you already have shingles. If you have shingles, it is recommended that you wait at least 1 year before getting the shingles vaccine. You can get shingles more than once in your life, so even if you have had shingles before, the shingles vaccine may help to prevent another shingles episode.
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New Shingles Vaccine: Why People Are Reluctant
When it comes to preventing the painful rash and blisters of shingles, Shingrix® has recently been approved by the FDA,Recently, shingles can lead to pneumonia, Mercks shingles vaccine, hearing problems, shingles has made headlines because of a new vaccine that was approved in 2017: the recombinant zoster vaccine
Is There Anyone Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles vaccine is a live virus and, therefore, should not be given to anyone with a weakened immune system. This includes individuals who are being treated with radiation or chemotherapy or who are on steroid medications. The vaccine also should not be given to anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to the ingredients in the vaccine, so talk to your doctor about your specific health situation.
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Who Should Get Shingrix
Healthy adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. You should get Shingrix even if in the past you
- had shingles
- are not sure if you had chickenpox
There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.
If you had shingles in the past, you can get Shingrix to 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.
You can get Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember having the disease. 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 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.
Answers To Your Vaccine Questions: When Can I Get Moderna Booster
We are answering your questions about the coronavirus vaccines and what we need to do next. Submit your question using this form or email Lois Solomon at .
Q. Im 73 years old, I live in Florida and was fully vaccinated eight months ago. When can I actually get the third vaccine and will it be at 50%? Rey Curva
A. Federal health officials . Publix, which has both Moderna and Pfizer in pharmacies, has been offering full-strength booster doses since August to immuno-compromised people. Give your local Publix, or any pharmacy near you, a call and see if they are offering the half dose you will need.
Q. My wife and I were both vaccinated with Pfizer in January and February but came down with breakthrough infections in July. Our symptoms were fairly mild. We would like to get the booster shot but are getting conflicting and confusing information from the doctors we see.
One said wait three months, then get an antibody test to see if you need a booster. Another said we dont need boosters because having had the virus is more protective than a booster and we should wait until next year sometime. Yet another said to get the booster now and to forget about antibody tests because results tend to be inaccurate, hard to interpret and yield different results depending which test is used.
Can you offer any information or sources that will help us determine if a booster is appropriate at this time? Joe Solomon
She added that she doesnt like the term breakthrough infection.
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How You Get Shingles
To develop shingles, a person needs to have been infected with the varicella-zoster virus. That means you need to have had chickenpox to get shingles later in life.
Just because a person has had chickenpox doesnt mean theyll definitely have shingles in adulthood. Varicella-zoster lays dormant in the nerve cells and, in most people, never causes a problem again. In some people, however, the virus reactivates and produces shingles.
If a person has never had chickenpox, they cannot get shingles. But they can get adult chickenpox. Only after getting chickenpox would they be at risk of getting shingles later in their life.
Most people who get chickenpox as a child will be immune to the disease for the rest of their lives. In rare cases, people can get chickenpox more than once.
Know Your Risk Of Getting Shingles And Complications
About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime.
If youve had chickenpox, you are at risk for shingles. More than 99% of Americans born before 1980 have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember it.
Your risk of getting shingles and having serious complications increases as you get older.
About 1 in 10 people who get shingles develop nerve pain that lasts for months or years after the rash goes away. This is called postherpetic neuralgia and is the most common complication of shingles.
Shingles may lead to other serious complications involving the eye, including blindness. Very rarely, it can also lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, brain inflammation or death.
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Is The Shingles Vaccine Worth It
Yes. Although many people are able to recover from shingles without any lasting problems, up to 30% of people go on to have postherpetic neuralgia. Approximately 18% of people have other long-term issues, including:
The vaccine is highly effective at preventing both shingles and its complications.
What Are The Complications Of Shingles
After the shingles rash has disappeared, you might continue to have nerve pain in that same area. This pain, called postherpetic neuralgia, can last for months or years and become quite severe.
About 10% to 15% of people who get shingles develop postherpetic neuralgia. Researchers dont know why some people get postherpetic neuralgia and others dont. It may be that nerves become more sensitive or the virus may be invading and damaging the central nervous system.
Other complications include other types of nerve issues like numbness or itching, bacterial infection of the shingles rash, and eye and ear inflammation if the rash is near these organs.
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Getting Vaccinated For Covid
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Yeah, I know. Its enough to make you feel like a human pin cushion with all the different shots youre being encouraged to get.
But on the other hand its nice to know that modern medicine has made vaccines available to keep us from getting ill should we choose to get them.
And while local health agencies have been emphasizing the need to get vaccinated against COVID-19, they also are encouraging older people to get inoculations against a painful skin rash that will strike one-in-three people during their lifetimes, shingles.
Shingles is most common in people age 50-and-older and is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body and can cause shingles later in life. It can strike at any age, but generally as you get older your chances increase.
Typically once youve been exposed to the chickenpox virus it remains dormant in your body for many years, explained Dr. Nancy Yoon, the Chief Medical Officer for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. So even if you had the chickenpox as a child, the shingles may not develop for 30-40 years. It becomes more common when peoples immune system starts declining. So if they have underlying medical problems or even a lot of stress, it can contribute to an outbreak of shingles.
It could cause blindness, Yoon said. It could even cause a severe brain infection which is encephalitis. It can cause pneumonia or hearing problems or even death.
What Should I Expect Will Happen To Me If I Get Shingles
Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and reduce the duration of your symptoms.
A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you never had shingles or had a bout of them in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.
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I Feel Healthy Am I Really At Risk For Shingles
If youre one of the 99% of adults 50 years and older who have had chickenpox, the virus that causes shingles is inside your body and can reactivate at any time. 1 in every 3 people in the US will get shingles in their lifetime. No matter how healthy you feel, your immune system declines as you age, and that puts you at an increased risk for shingles.
Im Pregnant And Have Had A Blood Test For Chickenpox What Do The Results Of This Test Show
The blood test can show that you:
- Are immune and have no sign of recent infection. You have nothing further to be concerned about.
- Are not immune and have not yet been infected. You should avoid anyone with chickenpox during your pregnancy.
- Have or recently had an infection. You should discuss what the risks are for your stage of pregnancy with your healthcare provider.
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