The Shingrix vaccine provides protection from shingles for at least 7 years. In adults aged 50 and over with a healthy immune system, it is at least 90% effective. However, its effectiveness can vary depending on a person’s age and immune system.
In adults with a weakened immune system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it offers
This article discusses how long the shingles vaccine lasts and when a person should get it. It also looks at who should and should not get the vaccine, side effects to expect, and how to pay for the vaccine.
According to the
How effective is it?
Provided a person receives both doses of the vaccine,
- 97% effective in preventing shingles in those aged 50–69 years
- 91% effective in preventing shingles in those aged 70 years and above
- 68–91% effective in preventing shingles in those with weakened immune systems
It is also 91% effective in preventing PHN in those aged 50 years and over, and 89% effective in those aged 70 years and over.
People aged 19 years and older who have health conditions or take medication that can weaken the immune system should consider getting the vaccine before they are 50 years old.
The shingles vaccine consists of two doses. After the first dose, a person will receive the second dose 2–6 months later.
However, people with immunodeficiencies benefit from completing the treatment in a shorter time frame and should get the second vaccine 1–2 months after the first dose.
While some people who have had chickenpox may develop shingles, not all will.
The following people should get the vaccine:
- those who have previously had shingles or chickenpox
- those who received the vaccine for chickenpox
- those who received a discontinued version of the chickenpox vaccine called Zostavax
The shingles vaccine is not a good fit for everybody at all times. People
- currently have shingles
- are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
- have ever had an allergy to any components of the shingles vaccine
People who have a mild cold are able to get the vaccine. However, those with moderate or severe illness, either with or without fever, should not get the vaccine until they are well.
Shingrix can help
In addition, early treatment may shorten the duration of the infection and reduce the chance of complications such as PHN.
Common side effects of the vaccine
- soreness in the arm
- inflammation and swelling at the injection site
- muscle pain
- stomach pain
There are several ways to pay for a shingles vaccine. These include:
- private health insurance
Although Medicare Part A and Part B do not cover the cost of the shingles vaccine, Medicare Part D does.
Private health insurance
Private insurance plans may cover the cost of the Shingrix. However, a person should contact their insurance provider to find out how much it might cost.
Medicaid may cover the cost of the vaccine. However, this may vary from state to state.
The following are answers to some frequently asked questions about Shingrix.
How does the Shingrix work?
The shingles vaccine
The presence of more antibodies helps the body confront the virus and keep the infection at bay. The vaccine also contains molecules that improve the body’s immune response to be stronger and last longer.
This process helps the body build immunity against the virus and lowers the risk of shingles-related complications such as PHN.
Can a person get shingles after vaccination?
Although the shingles vaccine provides
Can a person get shingles if they have had the chickenpox vaccine?
Although it is rare, it is possible to develop shingles even if they have had the chicken pox vaccine. This typically happens years after receiving the chickenpox vaccine.
This is because the same virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. However, those who have had the chicken pox vaccine are less likely to develop shingles compared to those who have had chicken pox.
The shingles vaccine provides strong protection from shingles and PNH for
People should aim to get the vaccine if they are aged 50 years or above with a healthy immune system or 19 years and above with a weakened immune system.
People will require two vaccine doses to receive the best protection against the infection.
Medicare part D will cover the cost of the vaccine. Medicaid may also cover the cost of the vaccine, but this can vary from state to state.