Shingles | Prevention

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Is there a vaccine for shingles?

The shingles vaccine is recommended for adults 60 years of age and older. The vaccine can prevent shingles, but cannot treat active shingles or postherpetic neuralgia.

Common side effects of the vaccine are headache and redness, swelling, itching and soreness at the injection site. People who have had shingles should get the vaccine to help stop the disease from reoccurring. The vaccine protects for at least 6 years, but may last a lot longer.

The shingles vaccine is not recommended for the following groups:

  • People who have had an allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin
  • People who have an allergy to any component of the shingles vaccine
  • People who have a weakened immune system due to conditions such as leukemia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • People who are receiving treatment for cancer
  • People who are being treated with drugs that suppress their immune system, including high-dose steroids
  • Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant within 4 weeks of getting the vaccine

Can I prevent HZO?

There is nothing you can do to prevent HZO.

Bibliography

See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 01/11
Created: 09/00

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