Live zoster (shingles) vaccine can prevent shingles.
Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis), or death.
The most common complication of shingles is long-term nerve pain called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). PHN occurs in the areas where the shingles rash was, even after the rash clears up. It can last for months or years after the rash goes away. The pain from PHN can be severe and debilitating.
About 10 to 18% of people who get shingles will experience PHN. The risk of PHN increases with age. An older adult with shingles is more likely to develop PHN and have longer-lasting and more severe pain than a younger person with shingles.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body and can cause shingles later in life. Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another, but the virus that causes shingles can spread and cause chickenpox in someone who had never had chickenpox or received the chickenpox vaccine.
Side Effects Of Live Shingles (Zoster) Vaccine (ZVL)
Redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection and headache can happen after the live shingles vaccine.
Rarely, it can cause rash or shingles.
People sometimes faint after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injuries, or death.
Warnings & Precautions
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
- Has had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of live shingles vaccine or varicella vaccine, or has any severe, life-threatening allergies.
- Has a weakened immune system.
- Is pregnant or thinks she might be pregnant.
- Is currently experiencing an episode of shingles.
In some cases, your health care provider may decide to postpone shingles vaccination to a future visit.
Your health care provider can give you more information.
Dosage Of Live Shingles (Zoster) Vaccine (ZVL)
Live shingles vaccine can provide protection against shingles and PHN.
Another type of shingles vaccine, recombinant shingles vaccine, is the preferred vaccine for the prevention of shingles. However, live shingles vaccine may be used in some circumstances (for example if a person is allergic to recombinant shingles vaccine or prefers live shingles vaccine, or if recombinant vaccine is not available).
Adults 60 years and older who get live shingles vaccine should receive 1 dose, administered by injection.
Shingles vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Ask your healthcare provider.
Call your local or state health department.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.