The shingles vaccine is a safe and effective tool that can help prevent the condition in eligible adults. After the vaccine, a person’s immunity stays strong for at least 7 years.
The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a DNA virus that belongs to the herpesvirus group. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the VZV can remain dormant or inactive in the body for many years, then reactivate and cause shingles. Also known as herpes zoster, the condition can result in an itchy, painful, blistering rash that lasts for 3–5 weeks.
Read on to learn more about who should get Shingrix, when, and more.
According to the
Shingrix is a recombinant vaccine. This means it contains specific parts of the VZV, such as protein, sugar, or capsid. As such, this type of vaccine can provide a very strong immune response. Additionally, as it does not use live components of the virus, most people can receive the vaccine, including those with weakened immune systems or long-term health conditions.
People can receive Shingrix in two doses, with a separation of 2–6 months between shots. The vaccine protects against shingles with
The previous shingles vaccine,
Anyone concerned about shingles and PHN should consult a medical professional to find out whether Shingrix is right for them.
Additionally, those who have previously had chickenpox or shingles should still receive the vaccine. Anyone who received Zostavax in the past may still be at risk for developing shingles. Such individuals should also get the full two doses of the Shingrix vaccine.
Doctors recommend that people experiencing a minor illness still receive Shingrix. But anyone dealing with a severe illness should wait to recover before getting Shingrix. People can consult a medical professional to learn more about their eligibility.
Researchers have not evaluated Shingrix for people who are pregnant or nursing. These individuals should speak with a doctor before receiving Shingrix, and it is normally advisable for them to wait for the vaccine.
Anyone with allergies to Shingrix ingredients should also
Furthermore, it is
If individuals have any concerns or questions, they can discuss these with their doctor.
The CDC state that two doses of Shingrix are
Serious adverse events are extremely rare with Shingrix, occurring in under 0.01% of people who receive the vaccine. Some of the more common side effects following Shingrix vaccination
- pain, redness, or swelling at the site of injection
- body aches and pains
For most eligible individuals, Shingrix is a safe and effective option for preventing shingles and PHN. Individuals concerned about potential side effects should speak with a doctor to learn more.
Making the decision to get the Shingrix vaccine can be an important step on an individual’s wellness journey. Some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding that decision include:
Why is it important to receive a vaccination against shingles?
About 33% of adults in the U.S. will develop shingles at some point in their lives. Shingles can cause painful blisters, a rash, chills, and fever, among other symptoms. Many people who have shingles later develop PHN, which can cause long-lasting pain that is difficult to treat.
Getting the Shingrix vaccine can help individuals avoid shingles and PHN and help prevent shingles from spreading to vulnerable people.
Can individuals get Shingrix if they have already had shingles?
Yes, medical experts recommend that people who have had shingles still sign up for Shingrix. However, people currently experiencing shingles should wait until their symptoms go away before getting the shingles vaccine.
How long should people wait between Shingrix doses?
The standard waiting period between doses lasts from
What are the age requirements for Shingrix?
Most guidelines state that people aged
What if someone already had the older Zostavax shingles vaccine?
People who have had the Zostavax vaccine
Does the risk of getting shingles increase with age?
Shingles is most common after the age of
How often should people get the vaccine?
Individuals who get Shingrix should make sure to get both doses of the vaccine at an interval of 2–6 months. Anyone seeking further guidance on timing should consult a doctor to decide on the best vaccination schedule for them.
Is it possible to get shingles twice?
Most people who get shingles only experience it one time in their lives. However, it is possible to get shingles
These are only a few of the many questions people may have about Shingrix. To learn more about the vaccine and shingles, individuals can consult a medical professional.
Commercial insurance covers about 96% of insured people for the Shingrix vaccine. Most people with private insurance will pay under $5 for each dose.
Programs like Medicaid cover Shingrix in certain states. Medicare Parts A and B do not cover the shingles vaccine. But individuals covered under Medicare prescription drug plans, or Part D, will have their vaccines covered.
For people who do not have access to insurance, there are a number of vaccine assistance programs and affordable health coverage options available. Many of these programs provide vaccines at little or no cost.
Shingrix is currently the most recent and effective shingles vaccine available. It can help protect against shingles and potential complications from the condition, such as PHN. People who are at risk of developing shingles should consider vaccination if they are eligible.