Q:

Are side effects of the shingles vaccine common?

A:

Quick Answer

About one in three people who get the shingles vaccine develops a minor side effect, such as redness, itching, soreness or swelling near the injection site, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About one in 70 people develops a headache. Some people develop a chicken pox-like rash near the site, which they should cover as a precaution. Patients who have had severe reactions to any of the vaccine’s ingredients should not get the shot.

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Full Answer

The chances of getting shingles increase with age. The same virus that causes chickenpox causes this disease. It lies dormant in the system for years before reappearing as shingles, warns WebMD. However, the vaccine greatly decreases the chance of developing shingles. It can also prevent a second outbreak of shingles, but patients should wait a year after their shingles disappear before getting the immunization.

Over 99 percent of the citizens of the United States over age 40 have had chickenpox at some point in their lives, although some may not remember it, warns the CDC. While the Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccine for anyone over age 50, the immunity only lasts five years, so patients who get the vaccine too early may lose their immunity when they need it most.

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