Doctor's Responses Archive

Viewer Question

If one gets the chicken pox vaccination, does this make them eligible for shingles in later life, or will it prevent shingles in later life? I would very much appreciate an explanation on this.

Doctor's Answer

Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the virus that has caused chicken pox in person earlier in life. It reactivates by inflaming the skin and nerve in the distribution of the a particular nerve of sensation.

Because the chicken pox vaccine stimulates the immune system to attack the virus before it can cause the condition, it will prevent chicken pox, and therefore, prevent shingles.

The chicken pox vaccination does not make a person susceptible to shingles at any time of life.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 7/7/2004

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