Ask the Nurse; What are the Pros & Cons of the Shingles Vaccine?

April 16, 2018

Pros: Reduced risk of developing shingles and post neuralgia, prevention of recurrences and five years of protection from getting the shingles. The Zostavax provides a 51% reduction in the risk of getting the shingles. Shingles and post shingles neuralgia being both painful conditions. The reduced risk of suffering and outbreak and the possible after effects are clear positives of the vaccine. It is an easy single injection dose suitable for any time of the year and it has minimal side effects.

Cons: The CDC doesn’t have a recommendation for routine use of the vaccine in people between ages 50-59 which may leave some high risk people unprotected. The cons of the vaccine include side effects such as chickenpox style rash, soreness, swelling, itching or redness at the injection site. Some people may experience headaches.

Even adults who have had chickenpox or shingles in the past should receive the vaccine although people currently suffering from shingles should not get the vaccine until the rash has cleared up. The shingles vaccine doesn’t protect against other forms of herpes.

Only a single dose of the herpes zoster vaccine is recommended at this time.

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