Shingles is a painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs.
Shingles vaccine, Zostavax™, was recently recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people 60 years old or older. The ACIP recommendation is being reviewed by the Director of CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Recommendations become official when published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Source: CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): Shingles.
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