Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful skin rash. It’s caused
by reactivation of the chickenpox virus. This virus is the varicella zoster
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), approximately one-third of Americans will develop
shingles during their lifetime. It’s more common in people over 50. It’s also
more common in people with weakened immune systems. Immune system damage can be
or cancer treatment
Anyone who has had chickenpox or been vaccinated for VZV can
develop shingles. Shingles occurs when the virus becomes reactivated later in
life. Adults over age 60 should get one dose of
the shingles vaccine for protection. The vaccine is also approved for use in
adults age 50 to 59.
reports that in clinical trials, vaccination cut disease risk in half. It also
reduced pain in people who still contracted shingles.
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
Certain people should not receive the shingles vaccine. This
includes those who are:
to gelatin, neomycin, or other parts of this vaccine
from a weakened immune system
moderately to severely ill
Women should not try to get pregnant for at least 4 weeks
after being vaccinated.
Potential Side Effects
No serious problems have been linked to the shingles
vaccination. However, mild side effects include:
or swelling at the site of the shot (common)
at the site of the shot (common)