Vaccines can keep you healthy. Vaccine recommendations change, and should be directed by your primary care provider. If you are taking a trip be sure to check all your vaccines. Shingles vaccines are very effective at preventing the condition Shingles also called herpes zoster. The condition is a rash, it can be painful, and it can cause long lingering pain. Chicken pox, also from the varicella-zoster virus, is very contagious, and you can catch it from some one with shingles if you have never had it before. Kids generally get vaccinated when they are very young and around age 5 they get a booster.
1. You need a shingles vaccine if you are over 60, it is approved for adults over 50. You need 2 doses, they can be given between 2 and 6 months apart.
2. Shingles vaccines prevent shingles, a disease of reactivated chicken pox.
3. If you have not had chicken pox, you need the chicken pox vaccine, not the shingles vaccine, and all health care workers and those who are traveling need to be sure they have been vaccinated. You do not have to be tested for chicken pox if you aren't sure if you have had it before getting the shingles vaccine.
4. The vaccine is a live virus vaccine, it is not given unless your immune system is healthy.
5. A new shingles vaccine was released in October of 2017, if you were vaccinated prior to early 2018 you likely had the older version and are recommended to be re-vaccinated.
6. Not all cases of shingles are prevented by vaccination: currently if you get the 2 doses of the newer vaccine Shingrix over 90% of cases are prevented about 50% fewer cases occur with the old vaccines.
7. If you have been vaccinated, you are less likely to have a severe shingles infection.
8. You can get shingles more than once, so even if you have had shingles, get the vaccine if you are over 50.