This vaccine protects people against the herpes zoster virus that causes shingles.
Who should get the vaccine?
- Anyone 50 years of age and older
- Those that have had chicken pox
- Anyone that has a history of shingles that is resolved
Who should not get the vaccine?
- People younger than 50 years of age
- People who have an allergy to any component of the vaccine including neomycin & gelatin
- If you are pregnant
- If you have a weakened immune system
- If you have active, untreated tuberculosis
- If you have received a live vaccine in the past 4 weeks
- If on antiviral therapy should wait at least 2 days after completing medication
Common Side Effects
The most common side effects are redness, pain, swelling, itching where the needle went in. Less common side effects could include headache, fever, rash and muscle pain.
Shingles is an illness that is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. You can only get shingles if you have had chicken pox before. After you have chicken pox the virus stays in your body and when it is reactivated you will get shingles.
Shingles is a painful blistering rash. It usually occurs in one part of the body. It will often last for several weeks and may result in scarring. The nerve pain that is associated with shingles can last for months or years after the rash heals.
A person that has shingles can not give shingles to anyone else. Someone with active shingles can pass the virus on to someone however who has not had chickenpox before. They would develop chicken pox, not shingles. A person is not contagious until the blisters appear.