Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
The shingle vaccine is a live vaccine. This means that it 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. It should also not be given to children and pregnant women.
About Dr Janna Lachtchinina
Dr. Janna Lachtchinina received her medical degree from one of the top universities in Russia and completed her training at a George Washington University affiliated hospital. She is board certified in internal medicine and is focused on treating chronic medical conditions as well as acute disease management and preventive healthcare.
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If I’m Taking Antiviral Medication Such As For Cold Sores Can I Get The Shingles Vaccine
If you are being treated with any antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, valaciclovir or valganciclovir, it is best that the treatment is stopped for at least 24 hours before getting the shingles vaccine and for 14 days after vaccination. This allows the vaccine virus to replicate and induce an immune response.
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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.
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.
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Why A New Shingles Vaccine
Did we need a new shingles vaccine? To answer that question, it helps to have a bit of background on this infection.
Shingles, which is also called herpes zoster, occurs when the chickenpox virus , which is dormant in those whove had the illness, reawakens later in life. Almost all adults older than 40 carry the chickenpox virusand the older we get, the more the risk of getting shingles climbs. According to the CDC, the infection strikes about 1 million people in the U.S. each year and nearly one in three adults will experience a bout of shingles in their lifetime.
The two to four weeks of shingles, marked by symptoms such as a blistery and painful rash on one side of the body, can be difficult enough. But about one in five people with shingles go on to develop postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, which is nerve pain that can linger for months or even years.
Since 2006, weve had Zostavaxapproved for those between 50 and 59 but recommended by the CDC for adults 60 and olderas the sole bulwark against shingles. Zostavax offers 70 percent protection against shingles for people between 50 and 59 but only 18 percent in people 80 and older, according to the Pink Sheet, which reports on the pharmaceutical industry.
When all ages are taken into consideration, Zostavax cuts the chance of shingles by only 51 percent and the risk of PHN by 67 percent.
Shingles is a big problem with immunocompromised people, Schaffner says.
What Is Shingrix The New Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late 2017, is more likely to cause short-term side effects than either Zostavax or other vaccines for adults, said Dr. Kathleen Dooling, a medical officer in the division of viral diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One of the important things is to go into this vaccination knowing that youll probably have some side effects after and be prepared for those, Dooling told TODAY.
The advice weve been giving people is that if you plan to get the vaccine, in the day or two afterwards, dont plan any big, strenuous activities. For example, dont plan a big gardening project… dont plan your big golf game for that period.
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Have A Rash Go To The Doctor
If you think you might have shingles, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Its important to see your doctor no later than three days after the rash starts. The doctor will confirm whether or not you have shingles and can make a treatment plan. If you have a condition that weakens the immune system, the doctor may give you a shingles test. The shingles test can also help doctors diagnose shingles in people who don’t have a rash. Although there is no cure for shingles, early treatment with drugs that fight the virus can help the blisters dry up faster and limit severe pain. Shingles can often be treated at home. People with shingles rarely need to stay in a hospital.
What Is The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles vaccine protects against herpes zoster infection. Shingles is a painful, itchy skin rash that usually appears around your chest and back, but can also affect your legs or face. It appears on only one side of your body.
- Shingles is caused by varicella-zoster virus .
- It is more common in older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
- Vaccination with the shingles vaccine can reduce your risk of shingles and the long-term pain it can cause.
Read more about shingles.
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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.
Who’s Most At Risk Of Shingles
People tend to get shingles more often as they get older, especially over the age of 70. And the older you are, the worse it can be. The shingles rash can be extremely painful, such that sufferers cannot even bear the feeling of their clothes touching the affected skin.
The pain of shingles can also linger long after the rash has disappeared, even for many years. This lingering pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia .
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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.
How Does The Shingles Vaccine Work
The vaccine recommended for most people is a live vaccine called Zostavax. It contains a weakened chickenpox virus . It’s similar , but not identical, to the chickenpox vaccine.
People with a weakened immune system cannot have live vaccines. They will be offered a non-live vaccine called Shingrix. It activates the immune system but also contains an ingredient called an adjuvant, which helps to boost the response to the vaccine.
Very occasionally, people develop chickenpox following shingles vaccination . Talk to a GP if this happens to you.
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Available Vaccines And Vaccination Campaigns
Since 2008, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that most Americans aged 60 and older get the shingles vaccine. A newer recommendation was issued in 2018 with the licensure of a new vaccine: now most Americans age 50 and older are recommended to get Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted .
In adults 50-69 years old, Shingrix reduces risk of shingles by more than 96%. For those 70 and older, the vaccine is 91.3% effective at preventing shingles. It very similarly reduces the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia. Modeling studies project that protection will wane to 0 by 19 years after immunization. Study of the expected duration of protection is ongoing.
The antigen in Shingrix is a surface protein of the varicella zoster virus produced by culturing genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells. Vaccination consists of two doses of vaccine, given at months 0 and 2-6.
The older shingles vaccine is a live, attenuated vaccine. It was licensed in 2006. The generic name of the vaccine is Zoster Vaccine, Live . It is still available, although Shingrix is recommended over Zostavax because of its superior effectiveness and duration of protection.
People who have previously been vaccinated with Zostavax are recommended to vaccinate with Shingrix.
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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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles
The most common symptoms include pain and a tingling or burning sensation. In most patients a rash develops within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of pain. The rash can then turn to blisters that may leak fluid before crusting over.
The most common areas for the rash to develop are the scalp, neck, shoulders and chest wall. The shingles rash typically does not cross the midline of the body. While the majority of patients develop a rash, there are some patients who experience the pain and burning sensation but no rash develops.
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Guidance On Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization
Vaccine providers are asked to report AEFIs through local public health officials and to follow AEFI reporting requirements that are specific to their province or territory. In general, any serious or unexpected adverse event felt to be temporally related to vaccination should be reported.
For LZV the following AEFIs are also of particular interest and should be reported:
- Suspected transmission of vaccine-strain virus to a close household or occupational contact. This phenomenon has been documented following varicella vaccine but it is rare, and transmission has not been documented with LZV.
- Recurrent HZ following immunization of individuals with a history of HZ prior to immunization, noting the area of recurrence.
- Recurrent HZO following immunization of a person who has had a previous episode of HZO. If available, a vitreous fluid specimen should be sent to a laboratory with a request to determine whether the virus is the vaccine strain or wild type virus.
For definitions of serious and unexpected adverse events, refer to Vaccine Safety in Part 2.
For more information refer to Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization in Canada.
Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles vaccine is safe and easy, and it may keep you from getting shingles and PHN. Healthy adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with a shingles vaccine called Shingrix, which is given in two doses. Zostavax, a previous shingles vaccine, is no longer available in the United States.
You should try to get the second dose of Shingrix between two and six months after you get the first dose. If your doctor or pharmacist is out of Shingrix, you can use the Vaccine Finder to help find other providers who have Shingrix. You can also contact pharmacies in your area and ask to be put on a waiting list for Shingrix. If it’s been more than six months since you got the first dose, you should get the second dose as soon as possible. You don’t need to get a first dose again.
You should get Shingrix even if you have already had shingles, received Zostavax, or dont remember having had chickenpox. However, you should not get a vaccine if you have a fever or illness, have a weakened immune system, or have had an allergic reaction to Shingrix. Check with your doctor if you are not sure what to do.
You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies. Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.
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How Long Does Shingrix Last
The immunity conferred from Shingrix for the prevention of shingles is thought to last longer, and be more effective than the previous shingles vaccine, Zostavax.
The immune response from the shingles vaccine Shingrix is reported to be at least nine years based on the cellular response to the vaccine according to the CDC. However, ‘immune response’ doesn’t necessarily correlate to vaccine effectiveness in terms of preventing episodes of shingles.
Other data indicates that the Shingrix vaccine maintains greater than 90% efficacy at least four years after vaccination according to GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of the vaccine.
In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine has reported that Shingrix maintains around 88% efficacy at least four years after vaccination in patients vaccinated 70 years of age or older.
Shingrix Shingles Vaccine: Side Effects Shortages Age And More
Americans seem to have a love-hate relationship with the new shingles vaccine.
Love, because Shingrix which offers much better protection against the painful rash than its predecessor Zostavax is so popular that there are shortages of the vaccine.
Hate, because people are also complaining the shot is painful and comes with unpleasant side effects.
My arm feels like Mike Tyson punched it 9 times, one man tweeted last month after getting the new vaccine.
Today, I got the shingles vaccination. Now my left arm hurts so much, a woman tweeted this week.
The Shingles vaccine is 97% effective, which is awesome. The side effects are killing me, which sucks . Still better than getting Shingles by a
Others complained of fever, muscle aches, feeling lousy & virusy and suffering like Ive been hit by a Mack truck.
Its not their imagination.
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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:
Swelling of the face or throat
If you notice these symptoms in the hours after your vaccination, get medical help immediately.
How Do I Get The Shingles Vaccination
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.
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