Common reactions to the shingles vaccine include headaches as well as redness, swelling, soreness and itching at the injection site, according to Healthline. In rare cases, individuals who receive the vaccine have a severe allergic reaction.
Most people have no reaction at all to the shingles vaccine, reports Healthline. Most side effects are mild, but occasionally a patient develops a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include trouble breathing, a slow or irregular heartbeat, dizziness and swelling of the face, mouth and eyes. Individuals with these symptoms after taking the shingles vaccine should seek medical attention immediately.
Shingles is a painful skin disease that consists of blisters, notes Healthline. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After someone has contracted chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in the body, sometimes for decades, before it recurs as shingles. Shingles is thought to be linked to a weakened immune system caused by emotional or physical stress.
The shingles vaccine is recommended for adults over age 60, according to Healthline. The vaccine can also keep patients who have already had shingles keep from getting it again. Studies show the vaccine keeps 50 percent of patients from developing shingles. Those who do develop the disease have shorter periods of debilitating nerve pain that affects some patients after the rash clears up. This pain, known as post-herpetic neuralgia, can last weeks or years.