Shingles - Vaccine

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Is it possible to prevent shingles with a vaccine?

In 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a shingles vaccine (Zostavax). Currently, the FDA has approved its use for individuals age 50 years and older, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended its use for individuals age 60 years and older. It is a live attenuated vaccine that boosts the immune system and only needs to be administered one time. Ongoing studies are underway to determine how long the vaccine confers protection. It has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing shingles by about 60%, as well as reducing the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia by approximately 66%.

The shingles vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy or for those with weakened immune systems from disease or immunosuppressive medications, as it is a live vaccine. It is also not recommended for cases of active shingles or for those who have already developed postherpetic neuralgia. However, even if you have had shingles in the past, the vaccine can still be administered to help prevent future recurrent shingles.

The vaccination can be administered at a pharmacy or at your doctor's office. If you are vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, it is safe to be around children, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals, as there are no documented cases of people getting chickenpox from a recently vaccinated person.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Elisa_dolittle, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 02

Around 6 hours after having the shingles vaccination jab my arm became very red, hot and very swollen. I had to seek medical treatment. So the vaccine was not for me.

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Comment from: twistedpeach, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 26

Shingles is the most painful thing I have ever gone through; much worse than any surgery I have ever had and I've had a lot. Not only is it painful I can't put any clothing on and now that whole side of my body from my upper thigh to just to my ribs is numb. Along with the pain I have I also think the medication is causing me to not be able to urinate so now I have to take medicines for that. I wouldn't wish this on anyone ever! I also had the shingles vaccine!

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