The shingles vaccination reduces the chance that a senior may contract shingles by 51 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seniors who are vaccinated but still develop shingles are more likely to have a milder, shorter case of the disease, notes Mayo Clinic.
Although shingles is not fatal, it causes painful rashes, can threaten a person's eyesight and can leave permanent scarring. Statistics estimate that a person over the age of 80 has a 25 to 50 percent chance of having already contracting shingles, notes WebMD.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that only adults 60 or older should receive the vaccine. Although the Food and Drug Administration approved the shingles vaccine for adults who are 50 years old or older, the effectiveness of the vaccine decreases after five years. It's also found to be most effective in adults between the ages of 60 to 69, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Patients who already had shingles should wait a year before getting the vaccine, notes WebMD. People who are immunocompromised, have an allergy to gelatin or neomycin, are pregnant or are diagnosed with cancer that affects the lymphatic system or bone marrow should not take the vaccine, states Mayo Clinic.