Shingles Vaccine

No one wants Shingles!  Now A New and Improved Vaccine!

Shingles develops after the reactivation of the varicella-zoster vires (same virus that causes chicken pox).  It is a painful rash that generally occurs of one side of the body, most commonly on face or torso.  Complications from shingles include postherpatic neuralgia (on going pain), ophthalmic (eye) involvement and bacterial infection.  Studies show 1 out of 3 people in United States will develop shingles with risk increasing as you age.

Shringrix was approved Oct 2017 for adults 50 years and older for prevention of Shingles.  It is administered as a 2 dose vaccine series intramuscularly.  The 2nd dose should be given anytime between 2 and 6 months after the 1st dose.  However, if you do not receive 2nd dose within 6 months it does not need to be restarted you should only go ahead and receive the 2nddose.  If you have already received zostavax vaccine, the previous shingles vaccine, it is still recommended you receive 2-dose Shingrix vaccine as the efficacy of prevention is greater with Shingrix.

Shingrix is not a live vaccine like zostavax and no issues are to be expected with administering it to immunocompromised patients.  Since shingles is not a ‘live’ vaccine you can not develop shingles form the Shingrix vaccine.   If you have had shingles in the past the CDC still recommends you receive Shringrix vaccine as long as the rash has disappeared.  Studies have evaluated that full immununity is 4 weeks after 2nd dose.   It was also proven that Shingrix prevented the most common complication of shingles which is pain in the area where the rash existed that can last weeks to years after outbreak.

Side Effects?

78% of people that received Shingrix complained of pain and redness at injection site that only lasted a few days.  This was the most common adverse reactions.  Other reactions that were noted (all less that 45%) are musle pains, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever and gastrointestinal symptoms.

With increase in efficacy and the prevention of complications from shingles, it’s worth it!