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The Shingles Vaccine (cont.)

The Shingles Vaccine

A vaccine for shingles was licensed in 2006. In clinical trials, the vaccine reduced the risk of shingles by 50%. It can also reduce pain in people who still get shingles after being vaccinated.

A single dose of shingles vaccine is recommended for adults 60 years of age and older.

Some people should not get the shingles vaccine or should wait.

A person should not get the shingles vaccine who:

  • has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • has a weakened immune system because of current:
    - AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system,
    - treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as prolonged use of high-dose steroids,
    - cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy,
    - cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
  • is pregnant, or might be pregnant. Women should not become pregnant until at least4 weeks after getting shingles vaccine.
Someone with a minor acute illness, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. But anyone with a moderate or severe acute illness should usually wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3° F or higher.

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