After Full Approval Talk With Your Doctor About Timing Your Shingles Vaccine
There are very few contraindications to receiving Shingrix, says Cohen. It should not be given to people who have a history of a severe allergic reaction to a prior dose of this specific vaccine, he says.
If you have a moderate or severe acute illness, you should generally wait until youre feeling better before receiving the vaccine, says Cohen. Particularly for people who are immunocompromised or have received a transplant, it is generally best to discuss the timing of vaccines with your healthcare provider.
After Getting Your Second Shot
Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults have been reported more often after getting the second dose than after the first dose of one of the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. These reports are rare and the known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis.
Usev-safe on your smartphone to tell CDC about any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If you enter your second shot in your v-safe account, the system will send you daily health check-ins. Please note that v-safe is not automatically notified when you receive a second shot of vaccine, so you must enter the information yourself.
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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Dosage For Shingles Prevention
Shingrix is given as two 0.5-mL injections in your upper arm. Youll receive two doses of this vaccine.
Over time, some vaccines protection begins to fade, so may you need booster doses. They help keep the vaccine working. But you dont need a booster dose after getting the two doses of Shingrix.
Shingrix dosing schedule for people ages 50 years and older
For people ages 50 years and older taking Shingrix, the second dose is given 2 to 6 months after the first dose.
Shingrix dosing schedule for people ages 18 years and older with an increased risk of shingles
For people ages 18 years and older with an increased risk of shingles who are taking Shingrix, the second dose may be given 1 to 2 months after the first dose.
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated
- Patients with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a previous dose of Shingrix.
- Patients who tested negative for immunity to the varicella zoster virus. If you test negative, you should get the chicken pox vaccine.
- Patients who currently have shingles.
- Patients who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to get Shingrix.
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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.
Shingrix For Prevention Of Shingles
Shingrix is a vaccine thats used to prevent shingles . Its approved for use in people:
- ages 50 years and older
- ages 18 years and older who have an increased risk of shingles
People with an increased risk of shingles include those with a weakened immune system, such as people with HIV.
Shingrix is not meant for use in preventing chickenpox .
Effectiveness for prevention of shingles
Shingrix has been found to be effective in helping to prevent shingles. For details on how the drug performed in clinical studies, see Shingrixs
state that Shingrix is the preferred vaccine for shingles. They recommend it for:
- all adults ages 50 years and older
- adults ages 18 to 50 years with a weakened immune system
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How Is Shingrix Given
Shingrix is given as an injection into a muscle. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
Shingrix is usually given in a series of 2 shots. The second shot may be given any time within 2 to 6 months after the first shot.
You may receive Shingrix at the same time that you get a flu shot.
Read all patient information, medication guides, and instruction sheets provided to you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
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
- tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster virus. If you test negative, you should get chickenpox vaccine.
- currently have shingles
- currently are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to get Shingrix.
If you have a minor acute illness, such as a cold, you may get Shingrix. But if you have a moderate or severe acute illness, you should usually wait until you recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3°F or higher.
The side effects of the Shingrix are temporary, and usually last 2 to 3 days. While you may experience pain for a few days after getting Shingrix, the pain will be less severe than having shingles and the complications from the disease.
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What You Need To Know
- If you receive a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you will need 2 initial shots to complete the primary series.
- CDC does not recommend mixing products for a two dose primary vaccine series or an additional primary dose. If you received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you should get the same product when you need a second shot or additional primary dose. However, mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines is allowed for booster shots for people ages 18 years and older.
- You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it.
- If you have a weakened immune system due to other diseases or medications, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.
- People with moderately or severely compromised immune systems ages 12 years and older who completed their Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine primary series and ages 18 years or older who completed their Moderna COVID-19 vaccine primary series should get an additional primary dose at least 28 days after their second shot.
- Everyone ages 16 years and older who completed their COVID-19 vaccine primary series can get a booster shot.
Who Should Get Vaccinated
Shingrix is approved for adults age 50 and older. Zostavax is no longer available for use in the United States as of November 18, 2020. You should get Shingrix even if in the past you had shingles, have received Zostavax, or are not sure if you had chicken pox. There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.3
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Are There Any Risks Associated With The Chickenpox Vaccine
The most common side effect from the chickenpox vaccine is swelling, soreness, or redness at the site of the injection. A small number of people may also develop a mild rash or a low-grade fever after vaccination.
Serious reactions to the chickenpox vaccine are extremely rare, but they may include:
- Loss of balance
- Severe allergic reaction
If you think you may be having a serious reaction to the chickenpox vaccine, call your health care provider right away. Make a note of the symptoms you’re experiencing, and report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at 1-800-822-7967.
Women who receive the chickenpox vaccine during pregnancy should contact their health care provider right away. Chickenpox during pregnancy can cause birth defects, so there may be a risk that the chickenpox vaccine could cause the same birth defects.
As with other vaccines, the risks associated with the chickenpox vaccine are much lower than the risks associated with the disease itself.
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
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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.
How Long Does It Take To Work
It takes time for your body to make enough antibodies to fight off germs and protect you from certain diseases.
Results from clinical studies of Shingrix showed that the recommended dosing schedule for Shingrix does cause an immune response.
How long Shingrix takes to work may not be the same for everyone. The timing for you will depend on your body chemistry. In general, you should be protected from shingles soon after the second dose.
Studies in animals showed that there was no risk with Shingrix during pregnancy. However, animal studies dont always predict the way humans would respond.
If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, wait until after youve had your baby to get the Shingrix vaccine. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.
There havent been enough studies to show whether Shingrix appears in breast milk.
Until more is known, its best to wait until youve finished breastfeeding before getting Shingrix.
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Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, zoster vaccine, inactivated may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking zoster vaccine, inactivated:
- Ankle, knee, or great toe joint pain
- fever greater than 39 degree Celsius
- joint stiffness or swelling
- lower back or side pain
- swollen, painful, or tender lymph glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
Incidence not known
- Hives, welts, or itching
- inability to move the arms and legs
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- redness of the skin
- sudden numbness and weakness in the arms and legs
Can I Get Shingrix If Ive Never Had Chickenpox
If youve never had chickenpox , the CDC recommends that you get the chickenpox vaccine instead of Shingrix. Researchers havent studied Shingrix in people who have never had chickenpox. And Shingrix is not approved for preventing chickenpox.
If you cant recall whether youve had chickenpox, you may need to be screened for it. But this will depend on your age.
Its assumed that people born in the United States and elsewhere before 1980 have been exposed to chickenpox. Therefore, you may be able to receive Shingrix. You should check with your doctor first to make sure.
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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.
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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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingrix
Studies show that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles. As a result, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. The side effects may affect your ability to do normal daily activities for 2 to 3 days.
Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people 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. Symptoms went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days. Side effects were more common in younger people.
You might have a reaction to the first or second dose of Shingrix, or both doses. If you experience side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you experience side effects from Shingrix, you should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS websiteexternal icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
If you have any questions about side effects from Shingrix, talk with your doctor.
The shingles vaccine does not contain thimerosal .
Know Your Shingles Risk
You can get shingles at any age if youve had chickenpox.
But older adults and those who are immunocompromised get it most often. Two-thirds of shingles cases in Canada happen to people over 50 years old. The severity of shingles and its complications also increase with age.
Age is the most important risk factor.
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Pain At Injection Site
Pain at the injection site is a common side effect of many vaccines, including Shingrix. This pain is generally mild but can feel like anything from slight discomfort to deep bruising. In some cases, injection site pain can be severe enough to limit arm movement.
To ease this discomfort, you can apply cold packs to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time.
If these arent effective, over-the-counter pain remedies may help. However, if you have injection site pain that is severe or lasts longer than 2 to 3 days, follow up with your doctor.
Shingrix Vaccine Efficacy And Duration Of Protection
The efficacy of two doses of Shingrix for the prevention of herpes zoster was high among all age groups. In a clinical trial of more than 30,000 participants, vaccine efficacy was 96.6% in adults age 50 to 59 years, 97.4% in adults age 60 to 69 years, and 91.3% in adults age 70 years and older. Vaccine efficacy remained high in adults age 70 years and older, at or above 84.7% in all four years after vaccination.
The efficacy of two doses of Shingrix for the prevention of postherpetic neuralgia was high: 91.2% in adults age 50 years and older, and 88.8% in adults age 70 years and older.
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