• Gatti Pharmacy

Should I Get the New Shingles Shot?

Shingles is a painful rash that usually develops on one side of the body or face, and it can also affect the eyes. This rash can take as long as four weeks to heal, and it can also cause further complications. The most common complication is a burning pain that can last long after the initial shingles rash disappears. Other serious complications include blindness, hearing problems, and pneumonia.

Shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. You are at risk for shingles if you had chickenpox in the past. In the United States, approximately one in three people develop shingles in their lifetime. Anyone can get shingles, but the risk increases as you get older.

The new shingles vaccine is the most effective method for preventing shingles. It is more than 90% effective once you have received both doses. The CDC recommends the two-dose series of Shingrix, separated by two to six months, for all healthy adults 50 years and older. 

You should still receive the Shingrix vaccine even if you:

  • Do not recall ever having chickenpox 

  • Had shingles in the past 

  • Have received Zostavax in the past 

Zostavax is a less effective vaccine for shingles. You should wait eight weeks after receiving Zostavax to start the two-dose Shingrix series. You should not receive Shingrix if you currently have shingles, are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have a moderate to severe acute illness.

Shingrix is determined to be a safe vaccine, but you may experience some temporary side effects. The most common side effect that patients experience are redness, swelling, and soreness at the injection site. It is very important to get the second dose of Shingrix, even if you had side effects from the first dose, to fully protect yourself against shingles. 

If you have questions or would like to receive the Shingrix vaccine, call us! Protect yourself from shingles today!

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