Although shingles is related to chickenpox — the varicella zoster virus causes both — experts say the rise in shingles is not linked with the use of the chickenpox vaccine. Therefore, a vast majority of people receiving the immunization will not develop shingles later in life. "The vaccine is not only highly protective against chickenpox, but it protects against shingles as well, " she said. The chickenpox vaccine is also known as the varicella vaccine because varicella zoster is the virus that causes the disease. Zoster vaccine. Zoster vaccines are two vaccines that have been shown to reduce the rates of herpes zoster (also known as shingles). One type, Zostavax, is essentially a larger-than-normal dose of the chickenpox vaccine, as both shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus, the varicella zoster virus (VZV). A. It's not really surprising that you got shingles after being vaccinated. And if you do get shingles, you may have a milder episode because you were vaccinated. A large clinical trial found that the vaccine reduces the risk of having very severe, long-lasting pain, a syndrome called postherpetic neuralgia. People 60 years of age or older should get shingles vaccine (Zostavax). They should get the vaccine whether or not they recall having had chickenpox, which is caused by the same virus as shingles. There is no maximum age for getting shingles vaccine.
A: No, but you can get chickenpox. So if you never had chickenpox and someone you know has shingles, if their rash has turned to blisters and you touch the blisters, you could contract the virus and get chickenpox. If you've been vaccinated for chickenpox, you're also protected from shingles as an adult.
It is not known how long a vaccinated person is protected against varicella. But, live vaccines in general provide long-lasting immunity. Several studies have shown that people vaccinated against varicella had antibodies for at least 10 to 20 years after vaccination.
Because chickenpox is very contagious, people who never had chickenpox or the vaccine can get it just by being in a room with someone who has it. However, brief exposure is not likely to result in infection. The chickenpox virus stays in the body and can reawaken later to cause shingles.
Doctors usually give the vaccine in two doses. Adults and children ages 12 years and older usually receive a chickenpox vaccine called Varivax, which only prevents chickenpox. Adults can receive a chickenpox vaccine if they have never had chickenpox or if they were not vaccinated as children.
Shingles is not usually dangerous to healthy individuals although it can cause great misery during an attack. Very rarely, shingles can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death. For about one person in five, severe pain can continue even after the rash clears up.
Shingles can sometimes be mistaken for another skin conditions, such as hives, psoriasis, or eczema. For example, hives are often raised and look like welts. Psoriasis often involves red patches that have white scales throughout the rash. At first, the shingles rash appears as small raised dots.
Shingles Causes When the varicella zoster virus gets into your body, the first problem it causes is chickenpox. You may think of it as a childhood disease, but adults can get it, too. After chickenpox runs its course, the virus moves into the nerve tissues near your spinal cord and brain, where it stays.
If you had shingles in the past, you can get Shingrix to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time that you need to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.
If you've had shingles once, you probably won't get it again. That doesn't mean it can't happen; it's just unlikely. Also called herpes zoster, shingles can come back a second or, rarely, a third time. However, you can take steps to help prevent it, or ease it the next time around.
Shingles without a rash is called “zoster sine herpete” (ZSH). It's not common. It's also difficult to diagnose because the usual shingles rash isn't present. When VZV reappears as shingles, the virus is known as herpes zoster.
Because shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for shingles, including about 98% of US adults. About 1 million shingles cases occur in the US every year and almost 1 in 3 US adults will get shingles in their lifetime.
You shouldn't get the shingles vaccine if: You have a weakened immune system. You're getting cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy. You've had cancer in your bone marrow or lymph system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
Do I still need the shingles vaccine if I've never had chickenpox? Yes, you do. Shingrix recommended for everyone age 50 and older, whether or not you remember having had chickenpox, because most people have been exposed to the virus.
Children who get the chickenpox vaccine still have a small risk for shingles. But it may be a lower risk than after a chickenpox infection. And the symptoms may be less severe. The risk of shingles increases with age.