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How can you prevent shingles?

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Quick Answer

Getting the shingles vaccine is the only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles is a viral infection caused by the same virus responsible for chickenpox, according to WebMD.

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How can you prevent shingles?
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Full Answer

The CDC recommends the shingles vaccine for people age 60 and older. It is possible to develop shingles even after having the vaccine, but experts from Mayo Clinic say the vaccine helps reduce the severity and duration of a shingles outbreak. Side effects of the shingles vaccine include pain, redness, swelling and itching at the injection site. Some people also develop a rash similar to the one caused by chickenpox after having the vaccine.

There are some people who should not get the shingles vaccine, even if they are concerned about their risk for developing the condition. The vaccine is not recommended for people with compromised immune systems due to AIDS, HIV or other infections. Pregnant women, people with bone marrow cancer, people taking immune suppressants and those with cancer of the lymphatic system should also avoid the shingles vaccine, notes Mayo Clinic. Anyone who is allergic to neomycin, gelatin or another component of the vaccine should not be vaccinated against shingles.

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