What is Shingles?
Shingles is a painful localized skin rash often with blisters. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Any person who has had chickenpox can develop shingles. The virus is most common in people 50 years and older.
What is the New Shingles Vaccine?
The new vaccine is the only shingles vaccine recommended in the United States for individuals 50 years of age or older.
Both the CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend shingles for all adults over 50. Individuals who have already receive another shingles vaccine should receive this one for complete protection.
This vaccine is a two-dose vaccine. Doses administered between two and six months apart.
Why Should I Get the New Shingles Vaccine?
The vaccine is up to 97 percent effective against shingles for people over the age of 50. Other shingles vaccines are only 64 percent effective for those over 60. This is the first shingles vaccine to be approved for people younger than the age of 60.
|How Effective is the Vaccine?
|60 – 69
|70 – 79
The vaccine also provides protection long term. It is 91 percent effective against shingles for those over the age of 80. Studies showed that other vaccines are only 18 percent effective in that same age range.
Studies show it also provides protection if shingles is contracted. Cases will be less severe in these rare cases.
More than 1 million people contract shingles annually. One in three adults will suffer through the virus during their lifetime.
Who Should Get the New Shingles Vaccine?
The CDC recommends everyone over the age of 50 receive the vaccine. This includes those who have already received a different shingles vaccine.
Shingles is increasingly common in adults and risks for the virus grow as a person gets older.
People with a weakened or compromised immune systems have a higher risk of complications from the virus. Almost all deaths from shingles occur in the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.