Common Questions About the Shingles Vaccine

by | Aug 1, 2021 | Flu Shots & Immunizations

Is it time to get your shingles vaccine? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix, a vaccination you can receive at Sterling Pharmacy.

The following information below (created by the CDC) covers several frequently asked questions about Shingrix. If you still have questions or would like to talk with someone about the shingles vaccine, give your Sterling Pharmacy team a call or stop in for a conversation.

Who Should Get Shingrix?

Healthy adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by two to six months. You should get Shingrix even if in the past you:

  • Had shingles
  • Received the Zostavax vaccine
  • Are not sure if you had chickenpox

Who Should Not Get Shingrix?

You should not get Shingrix if you:

  • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix
  • Tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus—if you test negative, you should get the chickenpox vaccine
  • Currently have shingles
  • Are currently pregnant or breastfeeding—women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to get Shingrix

How Well Does Shingrix Work?

Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication of shingles.

  • In adults 50 to 69 years old who got two doses, Shingrix was 97 percent effective in preventing shingles; among adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 91 percent effective.
  • In adults 50 to 69 years old who got two doses, Shingrix was 91 percent effective in preventing PHN; among adults 70 years and older, Shingrix was 89 percent effective.

What Are the Possible Side Effects of Shingrix?

Studies show that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles. As a result, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. The side effects may affect your ability to do normal daily activities for two to three days.

Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. About one out of six people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms went away on their own in about two to three days. Side effects were more common in younger people.

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