What Are The Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine
Just like with any other medication or vaccine, there is always a risk of potential side effects or allergic reactions. The shingles vaccine, however, is considered to be safe and poses a small risk of side effects.
- The Zostavax shingles vaccine may cause:
- Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection, or
Side Effects Of Getting The Vaccine
Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccines can cause side effects, but they’re generally mild and do not last long.
Common side effects that occur in at least one in 10 people are:
- redness, pain, swelling, itching at the injection site
If the side effects continue for more than a few days, contact your GP or practice nurse.
Tell your GP if you develop a rash after having the shingles vaccination.
Tips For Coping With Shingles
If you have shingles, here are some tips that might help you feel better:
- Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothing.
- Take an oatmeal bath or use calamine lotion to soothe your skin.
- Apply a cool washcloth to your blisters to ease the pain and help dry the blisters.
- Keep the area clean and try not to scratch the blisters so they dont become infected or leave a scar.
- Do things that take your mind off your pain. For example, watch TV, read, talk with friends, listen to relaxing music, or work on a hobby such as crafts or gardening.
- Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals.
- Try simple exercises like stretching or walking. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
- Avoid stress. It can make the pain worse.
Also, you can limit spreading the virus to other people by:
- Staying away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, or who might have a weakened immune system
- Keeping the rash covered
- Not touching or scratching the rash
- Washing your hands often
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What About The Vaccine
- Shingrix2 is a vaccine indicated for prevention of herpes zoster and related complications in adults aged 50 years and older. Two doses of Shingrix in immunocompromised adults can help to provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , which is longâterm nerve pain, the most common complication of shingles. For updated recommendations about Shingrix, visit the CDC website: CDC.gov/Vaccines/VPD/Shingles/HCP/Shingrix/Recommendations.html
- The twoâdose Shingrix vaccine series has been shown to be 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults aged 50 to 69 and 91% effective for those 70 and older.
- The twoâdose Shingrix vaccine was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults aged 50 to 69 and 89% effective in those 70 and older.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingles Immunisation
All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time theyre not.
For most people, the chance of having a serious side effect from a vaccine is much lower than the chance of serious harm if you caught the disease.
Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of shingles vaccines, or if you have possible side effects that worry you.
Common side effects of shingles vaccines include:
- pain, redness, swelling or itching where the needle went in
Serious reactions to immunisation are rare. With Zostavax® vaccination, very rarely a generalised chickenpox-like rash may occur around 24 weeks after vaccination. This may be associated with fever and feeling unwell. This rash may be a sign of a serious reaction to the virus in the vaccine. Seek medical attention and inform of recent Zostavax vaccination if you experience this reaction.
The Consumer Medicine Information links in How do you get immunised against shingles? list the side effects of each vaccine.
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How Long Does Shingles Last
Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks.
- The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body.
- Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.
- A few days later, the rash will turn into fluid-filled blisters.
- About one week to 10 days after that, the blisters dry up and crust over.
- A couple of weeks later, the scabs clear up.
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!
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Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
The shingle vaccine is a live vaccine. This means that it contains weakened viruses that cannot cause infection but makes your body produce the antibodies it needs in case you are exposed to or get the infection later in life.Live vaccines, like the shingles vaccine, can cause an infection in people with very weakened immune systems and should not be used in people with leukaemia, lymphoma, other conditions affecting your bone marrow, tuberculosis or in people having immunosuppressive therapy such as chemotherapy. Check with your doctor if you are unsure if you are in this group. It should also not be given to children and pregnant women.
How Is Shingles Spread
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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Is The Shingles Vaccine Safe
As with any vaccine, its possible to have some side effects after receiving it. In clinical studies, the side effects linked to this vaccine usually lasted only 2 to 3 days, and the most common ones were:
Pain and redness at the injection site
Most people report at least some arm pain after the injection. Some people reported that their side effects kept them from doing their usual daily activities. For this reason, its a good idea to plan to not do anything right after receiving your injection, just in case.
Severe allergic reaction to this vaccine is very rare. Symptoms of such a reaction include:
In clinical studies, there was no significant difference in efficacy over 4 years after vaccination. This suggests that if there is a decline in immunity, it does not happen quickly. Data beyond 4 years is not yet available.
Right now, its unclear if people will need an additional vaccine booster years later. Experts continue to research how long the vaccines efficacy lasts.
The vaccine is approved for adults aged 50 years and over. There is no best age, but theres no reason to wait once youre eligible.
Yes. Protection from the old vaccine wanes over time. Its recommended that you get Shingrix even if you received Zostavax in the past.
Should I Get The Shingles Vaccine And If So When
A vaccine for shingles was approved by the FDA in 2006.The vaccine is currently approved for adults over the age of 50 but the American College of Physicians recommends waiting to vaccinate until the age of 60 to ensure that the vaccine is most effective when the complications from shingles can be more severe. As you age, your odds of developing a more serious case of shingles, as well as postherpetic neuralgia, increase.
After the age of 60, the shingles vaccine is 51 percent effective in preventing shingles and 67 percent effective in preventing postherpetic neuralgia. The protective effects of the vaccine diminish after five years, so the later you receive the vaccine the better chance you will have of protecting yourself. Those who still develop shingles after receiving the vaccine should experience less severe symptoms.
Approximately 4 percent of patients who develop shingles will experience a recurrence of the disease. If you have already experienced shingles, getting vaccinated may help you prevent a recurrence and should reduce the duration and severity of new symptoms should the disease recur.
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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 Zostavaxexternal icon or HealthMap Vaccine Finderexternal icon.
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.
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Adverse Events In People With Immunocompromising Conditions Or On Immunosuppressive Therapy
Zostavax is contraindicated in severely immunocompromised people. Administering zoster vaccine to people with severe immunocompromise can result in disseminated disease from the Oka vaccine virus. Without an adequate immune response, the vaccine virus can replicate unchecked.30,31 Two people with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia who were given Zostavax died from disseminated Oka vaccine virus disease.18,30,31 They were not receiving immunosuppressive treatment when they were vaccinated.
There has been one report in Australia of death of a patient who was on long-term hydroxychloroquine and a low-dose prednisolone , from infection by the Oka strain varicella-zoster virus 3 weeks after receiving Zostavax vaccine.
There is ongoing monitoring of global evidence on the safety of Zostavax by both the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation . To date, there has not been any other report of fatal outcome from vaccine-related VZV infection in people who were either mildly immunocompromised or not known to be immunocompromised.
Should You Get Shingrix If Youve Already Had The Zostavax Shot
Yes. The CDC recommends that you get the Shingrix vaccine if youve already had Zostavax, because its more effective than the older vaccine and the protection lasts longer. Wait at least 2 months after you have Zostavax to get Shingrix.
The committee will review the research, and it should offer more specific advice later this year.
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Know The Benefits And The Side Effects
Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and long-term nerve pain. You may experience some short-term side effects because Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system.
After getting Shingrix:
- Most people had a sore arm.
- Many people had redness and swelling where they got the shot .
- Many 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 like yardwork or swimming. Side effects usually go away after 2 to 3 days. Remember that the pain from shingles can last a lifetime, and these side effects should only last a few days.
Side Effects Of Shingles Vaccine
The most common shingles shot side effects include pain and soreness at the injection site. Some people also notice a bit of redness, swelling or itching at the site of the shot. Other side effects of the shingles vaccine may include fatigue, muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. According to the CDC, side effects are more common in younger people than older people.
Most people can resume their regular activities immediately after vaccination. However, about 1 out of 6 people develop flu-like symptoms that last anywhere from 1 to 3 days.
Side effects can occur after the first, second, or both doses of Shingrix vaccine. If possible, it is a good idea to schedule vaccination the day before some downtime, so you can rest if you develop side effects.
If you develop flu-like symptoms after shingles vaccination, you can take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to control your fever and improve comfort. Those who develop flu-like symptoms after their first dose of vaccine may want to pre-medicate with ibuprofen or acetaminophen an hour or so before their second dose. Your healthcare provider can answer your questions about shingles vaccine side effects and pre-medication for vaccination.
Serious side effects are rare, but not impossible, after shingles vaccination. If you develop hives, swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, or sudden dizziness or weakness, and seek medical care immediately.
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Who Should Get Vaccinated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people who should receive the shingles vaccine include:
- Adults who are healthy, aged 50 and older
- People who have not had shingles
- Those who are unsure if they have had chickenpox. Studies show that over 99% of Americans over age 40 have had chickenpox, this includes those who cant remember having the disease.
- People who have had shingles . Studies have shown that some people can get shingles twice, or even three times and the risk of getting shingles again is about the same as the chances of getting them in the first place.
- Those who received Zostavax .
People Who Are Eligible For The Vaccine
From Autumn 2021, your GP will offer you the vaccine if you were aged 70 on 1 September 2021 and were born:
- between 2 September 1950 and 1 September 1951
You are still eligible for the vaccine during 2021/ 2022 if you haven’t already received the vaccine and:
- are currently aged between 71 and 79
- were born between 2 September 1941 and 1 September 1950
If you fall into the group above you need to ask your GP for the vaccine.
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Dose Route Of Administration And Schedule
Live attenuated zoster vaccine
Each dose is 0.65 mL .
Route of administration
Each dose is 0.5 mL .
Route of administration
Intramuscular, into the deltoid region of the upper arm.
Administration of the RZV as a subcutaneous injection is a vaccine administration error and should be avoided. However, if Shingrix is inadvertently administered subcutaneously, that dose will be considered as valid in the vaccine series. The second dose will be given as per vaccine schedule.
For more information, refer to Vaccine Administration Practices in Part 1.
2 doses, 2 to 6 months apart. A 0,12 months schedule may be considered for improved adherence to the 2nd dose .
Providers should consider different strategies to promote adherence to the two dose schedule for RZV .
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.
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