Side Effects, When to Get the Shot, and More


Shingles could make on a regular basis duties — from getting dressed to stepping into mattress — a painful proposition. The perpetrator behind this agonizing rash, which is particularly frequent in older individuals, is identical virus liable for one other frequent however debilitating situation: chicken pox.

“Most of us by no means do away with the chicken pox virus,” William Schaffner, MD, president of the Nationwide Basis for Infectious Illnesses, tells WebMD. “It lies dormant like a bear in a cave throughout winter. When an individual will get shingles, the virus has reawakened.”

Happily, a vaccine is obtainable that significantly reduces the chance of shingles. Schaffner, who can also be a professor in Vanderbilt College College of Medication’s infectious illnesses division and chair of the varsity’s division of preventive medication, spoke with WebMD about getting protected.

The shingles vaccine is really useful for everybody age 50 or older who isn’t profoundly immunocompromised, which implies their immune system is functioning and so they haven’t not too long ago had therapies like chemotherapy or excessive doses of steroids.

“t is a two-shot vaccine. Protection is obtainable by way of Medicare, however it may be robust to get approval. You need to work the system a bit of.

“No. It might probably nonetheless be very efficient, though it is suggested that you just await as much as a 12 months after the episode to get the vaccine.”

“Shingles isn’t life-threatening per se, however it may be fairly debilitating. If it includes your face or eyes, it may well threaten your eyesight. Even after the rash abates, you may be left with ache in that part of the physique that may be set off by even trivial stimuli, such because the contact of a shirt in opposition to the skin. Generally it may well stop individuals from leaving their home. The older we get, the higher the chance. If you happen to survive to age 80, you’ve gotten a 25% to 50% probability of getting had shingles.”

“That is a very protected vaccine. A number of proportion factors of individuals get hen pox blisters across the web site, however they’re innocent and so they go away.”

“Solely when you’ve got a compromised immune system.”

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