21 Feb Shingrix: The Next Chapter in Shingles Prevention
As most adults know, vaccinations are important. And while most adults think of vaccines primarily for their children, many vaccines are explicitly meant for adults. When it comes to vaccines, scientists are always doing more research and coming up with newer, safer, and more effective vaccinations that can help keep people of all ages safe.
This includes prevention of shingles. You won’t need a shingles vaccine until you are age 50 or older, but getting this shot is the only way that you can prevent shingles.
The more you know about shingles prevention, the better prepared you will be to keep yourself safe and protected.
Two vaccines are licensed and recommended in the United States to prevent shingles.
- Zoster Vaccine Live, also known as ZVL or Zostavax: This vaccine has been used since 2006 to prevent shingles.
- Recombinant Zoster Vaccine, also known as RZV or Shingrix: This vaccine has been used since 2017 and is currently recommended by the ACIP as the preferred shingles vaccine.
If you have never heard of Shingrix before, it is crucial to understand why this vaccine comes so highly recommended. The CDC recommends that all healthy adults age 50 and older get two doses of Shingrix for maximum shingles prevention. These two shots come separated by 2 to 6 months.
How effective is this vaccine?
According to studies, getting two doses of Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles. Plus, for the first four years after your vaccination, it still stays above 85% effective.
Who should and should not get Shingrix?
Every healthy adult over the age of 50 should get the Shingrix shot, as it is the only way to prevent shingles. Even adults who have received the Zostavax vaccine in the past, have had shingles, or who are not sure if they have had chickenpox in the past should get this vaccination.
This vaccination is relatively safe for all healthy adults, but there are a few exceptions that every adult should be aware of. The following individuals aren’t candidates for the vaccination:
- If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to Shingrix or another ingredient in the vaccine before
- If you tested negative for immunity to the varicella-zoster virus (if you do test negative, then you will need the chickenpox vaccine)
- If you currently have a case of shingles
- If you are pregnant
- If you are a woman who is currently breastfeeding
Here at Continuum Internal Medicine, we can help you determine if you are an ideal candidate for this vaccine.
We want to make sure that our patients are fully educated on the benefits of vaccines and disease prevention. If you have questions Shingrix or other vaccines that may be beneficial to you, make an appointment with Continuum Internal Medicine by calling us at 817-617-8650 today.