Does the Shingles Vaccine Have Side Effects?


Quick Answer

Side effects of the shingles vaccine include soreness, redness, itching and swelling at the injection site, claims WebMD. A less common side effect of the shingles vaccine is a headache.

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Shingles is most common in those over the age of 50, in people who take immunosuppressive drugs, and in people who have medical conditions that negatively affect the immune system, explains WebMD. This vaccine is for people over the age of 50, and the Centers for Disease Control says that people over the age of 60 need the shingles vaccine, even if the person has had shingles in the past. Since most older Americans had chickenpox during childhood, there are millions of people vulnerable to this disease.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends certain people do not get the shingles vaccine including those with allergies to gelatin, neomycin or other components of the vaccine, according to WebMD. People who have diseases that affect the immune system or who take drugs that may affect the immune system, such as steroids, must not get the shingles vaccine unless recommended by a doctor. Others who must avoid the shingles vaccine include those undergoing cancer treatments, those with a history of lymphoma or leukemia and those with active tuberculosis. Pregnant women must also avoid the shingles vaccine.

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