Thursday, March 23, 2023

Does Shingrix Vaccine Contain Live Virus

How Do I Get The Shingles Vaccination

What You Should Know About Shingles Vaccines | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Once you become eligible for the shingles vaccination, a GP or practice nurse will offer you the vaccine when you attend the surgery for general reasons.

You can have a shingles vaccine at the same time as most other vaccines. But try to leave 7 days between the shingles vaccine and a coronavirus vaccine, so that if you have any side effects you’ll know which vaccine they were from.

If you are worried that you may miss out on the shingles vaccination, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment to have the vaccine.

Is It Okay To Donate Blood After Getting The Covid

Giving blood after getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not diminish the resulting immune response, which mostly builds in the lymph nodes near the injection site. Likewise, the American Red Cross does not require a delay following vaccination with the vaccines currently approved for use in the U.S. however, individuals must know which brand of vaccine they received and show the immunization card if possible. More details about blood donation are available on the ARC website.

A Closer Look At The Safety Data

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.


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.


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How Well Does Shingrix Work

Two doses of Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication of shingles.

  • In adults 50 to 69 years old who got two doses, Shingrix was 97% effective in preventing shingles among adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 91% effective.
  • In adults 50 to 69 years old who got two doses, Shingrix was 91% effective in preventing PHN among adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 89% effective.

Shingrix protection remained high in people 70 years and older throughout the four years following vaccination. Since your risk of shingles and PHN increases as you get older, it is important to have strong protection against shingles in your older years.

What Should I Do If I Had The J& j Vaccine

The #1 Cause of Shingles, According to Science

People who had a single dose of the J& J/Janssen vaccine are recommended to get a second dose at least 8 weeks after the first dose.

Related to side effects

If you had the J& J/Janssen vaccine within the last 3 weeks, although the risk is low, you should monitor yourself for unusual symptoms, including severe headache, severe abdominal pain, unexplained leg pain, or shortness of breath, which may result from TTS, or muscle weakness or paralysis, which may result from GBS. If you develop unusual symptoms, you should seek medical attention and be certain to tell the healthcare provider the date you received the J& J/Janssen vaccine. For TTS, the physician can very quickly determine whether your problem is related to the vaccine by performing a simple complete blood count. If the platelet count is extremely low, the symptoms might be related to the vaccine. We would also recommend registering for v-safe, the CDCs vaccine monitoring system if you have not done so already.

If you had the J& J/Janssen vaccine more than 3 weeks ago, you are extremely unlikely to experience either thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or Guillain-Barré syndrome .

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What Kind Of Vaccine Is The Flu Vaccine

Since we are in the midst of flu season , you may also be wondering where the flu vaccine falls in all this. The shot version uses an inactivated virus or single protein from the flu virus, and essentially does the same thing as the Covid-19 vaccines mentioned above: It introduces your body to parts of different flu viruses. This puts your immune system on the defensive to help rid your body of this foreign substance. Antibodies are made, and then offer protection down the line. The tricky thing about the flu vaccines effectiveness is that it is going to vary from season to season because there are different types or the virus that circulate each year. So medical experts never know exactly which will hit us and often are making highly-educated guesstimations.

The most important takeaway from all of this? Protection against the Covid-19 is key. All of these types of vaccines are just different routes to get your body to protect you.

If You Had The Virus Do You Still Need To Get The Vaccine

People who had COVID-19 are recommended to get the vaccine after they have recovered. The vaccine trials included people who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, and the vaccine was found to be safe. Because we do not know how long antibodies last after infection and a small number of people have had more severe second bouts of infection, the vaccine can be beneficial in boosting a persons existing immunity from infection.

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What Should I Avoid Before Or After Receiving Zoster Vaccine Live

If you develop a skin rash that looks like shingles after receiving this vaccine, avoid coming into contact with other people who have never had chickenpox . Also avoid contact with these individuals if you develop a rash or other reaction where the vaccine was injected into your skin.

Do not receive any other “live” vaccine for at least 4 weeks after your zoster vaccine, or you could develop a serious infection. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella , Bacillus Calmette-Guérin , oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella , H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

How Is Shingles Spread

CDC warns of shingles vaccine shortage

You do not “catch” shingles it comes on when there’s a reawakening of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body. The virus can be reactivated because of a range of issues, including advancing age, medicine, illness or stress.

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles. It’s estimated that around 1 in 5 people who have had chickenpox go on to develop shingles.

Read more about the causes of shingles.

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What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Zoster Vaccine Live

You should not receive this vaccine if you are pregnant or if you have active untreated tuberculosis, a weak immune system, leukemia or cancer that affects bone marrow, or if you have a history of allergic reaction to gelatin or neomycin.

To make sure zoster vaccine is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • a history of allergic reaction to any vaccine
  • if you have received a “live” vaccine within the past 4 weeks or
  • if you have never had chickenpox.

You can still receive a vaccine if you have a minor cold. If you have tuberculosis or any other severe illness with a fever or any type of infection, wait until you get better before receiving this vaccine.

Tell your doctor if someone in your household has a weak immune system. For a short time after you receive a zoster vaccine, it is possible that the live virus could be passed from you to any person who has a weak immune system.

It is not known whether zoster vaccine is harmful to an unborn baby. However, this vaccine is not for use in pregnant women. Avoid getting pregnant for at least 3 months after you have received a zoster vaccine.

It is not known whether zoster vaccine passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Zoster vaccine is not approved for use by anyone younger than 18 years old.

Pooled Efficacy Analyses Across Studies 1 And 2

The efficacy of Shingrix to prevent HZ and PHN in subjects 70 years and older was evaluated by combining the results from Studies 1 and 2 through a pre-specified pooled analysis in the mTVC. A total of 8,250 and 8,346 subjects who received Shingrix and placebo, respectively, were included in the pooled mTVC analysis.

Efficacy against Herpes Zoster

Compared with placebo, Shingrix significantly reduced the risk of developing HZ by 91.3% in subjects 70 years and older .

Table 4. Efficacy of Shingrix on Incidence of Herpes Zoster Compared with Placebo in Studies 1 and 2

Age Group


N = Number of subjects included in each group n = Number of subjects having at least 1 confirmed HZ episode HZ = Herpes zoster CI = Confidence Interval.

a Pooled data from Study 1: NCT01165177 and Study 2: NCT01165229 .

b mTVC = Modified Total Vaccinated Cohort defined as subjects who received 2 doses of either Shingrix or placebo and did not develop a confirmed case of HZ within 1 month after the second dose.

c Primary endpoint of pooled analysis was based on confirmed HZ cases in subjects 70 years and older.

Efficacy against PHN

Table 5 compares the overall rates of PHN in the vaccine and placebo groups across both studies.

Table 5. Efficacy of Shingrix on Overall Incidence of Postherpetic Neuralgia Compared with Placebo in Studies 1 and 2

Age Group


N = Number of subjects included in each group n = Number of subjects having at least 1 PHN CI = Confidence Interval.

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Is Shingrix Or Zostavax More Effective

Shingrix and Zostavax have both been proven to prevent shingles. However, Shingrix is a newer vaccine that is considered more effective than Zostavax. Shingrix is even recommended for those who have already received the Zostavax vaccine in the past.

Clinical trials have shown that Shingrix is 97% effective at preventing shingles in adults aged 50 to 69 years old. Shingrix is also effective in preventing shingles in older adultsadults over the age of 70, Shingrix is 91% effective.

Zostavax has a 70% efficacy rate in preventing shingles in adults aged 50 to 69 years old, according to the Zoster Efficacy and Safety Trial . Results from the Shingles Prevention Study showed that Zostavax is 51% effective against shingles. Compared to Shingrix, the effectiveness of Zostavax decreases in older age groups. Based on the SPS results, Zostavax is 64% effective in adults aged 60 to 69 years old 41% effective in adults aged 70 to 79 years old and 18% effective in adults aged 80 years and older.

Your healthcare provider will most likely recommend Shingrix over Zostavax. Shingrix is especially recommended for immunocompromised patients since it is a non-live vaccine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about which shingles vaccine is right for you.

We Don’t Talk About Herd Immunity For Protection Against Influenza Or Other Common Viral Infections So Why Is It Discussed So Much With Covid

Does Shingrix Use A Live Virus?

Herd immunity is a concept used in public health to describe a situation in which the more people in a community immune to a particular pathogen, the fewer people available for that pathogen to infect. As the infectious agent spreads through a community, it has more trouble finding susceptible people if most of those around them are immune. In this manner, we rely on herd immunity for viruses, such as measles, rubella, polio, and chickenpox, among others, even if we are not having conversations about it. Influenza is more difficult because the virus changes so much from one year to the next and as such, vaccination does not offer long-term protection.

Related to COVID-19, herd immunity has been discussed more frequently for a couple of reasons. First, because this is a completely new virus, no one had pre-existing immunity. People can become immune to SARS-Co-V2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in two ways through disease or through vaccination. By monitoring how many people are immune relative to the entire population, public health officials can offer informed guidance related to easing restrictions meant to stem spread of the virus.

Herd immunity can only be induced by vaccination. Never in history has any virus infection been eliminated because of immunity induced by natural infection.

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Shingrix Is Not A Live Vaccine

A live vaccine is one that contains a weakened form of a germ. Shingrix is not a live vaccine. Its an inactive vaccine, which is a vaccine thats made from a germ thats been killed.

Because Shingrix is inactive, more people can receive it. This includes people with a weakened immune system .

People with weakened immune systems are typically advised against receiving live vaccines. This is because on very rare occasions, live vaccines can mutate back to the full-strength germ that causes a disease.

If this happens, people with weakened immune systems would have a much higher risk for developing the disease that the vaccine is meant to prevent.

Shingrix is also a recombinant vaccine. This means that its made of parts of the shingles virus, such as protein, sugar, or capsid .

There used to be an alternative shingles vaccine to Shingrix. This other vaccine was called Zostavax.

Like Shingrix, it was approved to prevent shingles . However, Zostavax is

Below, we briefly describe the similarities and differences between these two vaccines.

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.

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Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine

There are a few situations in which shingles vaccination may not be right for you. You should not get Shingrix if youve 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 youre well.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should wait until youve stopped breastfeeding to get vaccinated.
  • You happened to test negative for VZV, the virus that causes chickenpox. If youre older than 50, you probably had chickenpox even if you dont remember it. The CDC does not recommend testing for this. However, if a blood test shows youve 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.

Its an individualized decision based on factors such as the specific medications and conditions of the person sitting in front of you, Kistler says. She often consults with her patients specialist doctors to make decisions about Shingrix.

What If I Wait Too Long To Take The Second Shingrix Dose

Do I Need to Avoid Being Around Infants After Getting a Shingles Vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that if more than 6 months have passed since you received your first dose, you should get the second dose as soon as possible. You dont have to start the doses all over again.

Also, if you get the second dose within 4 weeks after the first dose, it should not be counted. You should get your follow-up dose at least 1 to 2 months after the first dose, per your doctors recommendation.

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Im Living With Hiv Is It Safe For Me To Get Shingrix

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasnt made a recommendation about the use of Shingrix in people living with HIV.

However, one study looked at healthy adults ages 18 and older who were living with HIV and had an HIV dosing schedule that was customized to their needs. These people received the Shingrix vaccine, and the study results did not report any safety issues.

If youre living with HIV, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of getting Shingrix.

Could Taking Two Different Vaccines Boost The Effectiveness

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting two doses of the same mRNA vaccine unless the supply does not allow for them to get the second dose of the same brand.

People are also recommended to get the same brand for the third dose of mRNA vaccine if they are receiving it because of an immune-compromising condition. However, if they are receiving a second dose following J& J/Janssen or a third dose following mRNA as a booster, they can get a different type if they so choose.

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