Shingles vaccine is an injection to help prevent shingles and complications which affect the nervous system. This is a vaccine used to prevent shingles (zoster) and zoster-related post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), the long-lasting nerve pain that follows shingles. Shingles is a painful, blistering rash. It usually occurs in one part of the body and can last for several weeks. It may lead to severe and long-lasting pain and scarring. Less commonly, bacterial skin infections, weakness, muscle paralysis, loss of hearing or vision can occur. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have had chickenpox, the virus that caused it stays in your body in nerve cells. Sometimes, after many years, the virus becomes active again and causes shingles.
This is a Live safe attenuated (weakened form) of shingles.
This vaccination is used to vaccinate individuals 50 years of age or older. It cannot be used to treat existing shingles or the pain associated with existing shingles.
This is a once only injection. 1 dose (0.65 ml) vaccination.
This vaccine should not be given at the same time as the pneumococcal vaccine. Avoided in individuals who are allergic to any of the vaccine components or neomycin (an antibiotic), and to people with blood disorders, cancer or weakened immune systems. It should also be avoided in cases of untreated tuberculosis or pregnancy.
Vaccine should not be given to pregnant women.
Like all vaccines and medicines, this vaccine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Common side effects can include redness, tenderness, swelling and itching at the injection site. Headache, pain or warm feeling in arm has been reported in some patients.