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Protect Yourself against Shingles

Group of friendly adults.

Almost 1 out of 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. Older people are at a greater risk for developing shingles. They can reduce their risk of developing shingles and the pain it causes by getting vaccinated.

Shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) reduces the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain from post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) caused shingles. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends shingles vaccine for people aged 60 years and older. Even people who have had shingles can receive the vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.

Your risk for developing shingles increases as you get older. The Shingles Prevention Study found that shingles vaccine significantly reduced disease people aged in 60 years and older.

Shingles vaccine is available by prescription from a healthcare professional. It can be given in doctor's office and pharmacies. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about shingles vaccine.

Shingles vaccine is approved by FDA for people aged 50 years and older. However, CDC does not have a recommendation for routine use of shingles vaccine in people aged 50 through 59 years old. Adults aged 50 through 59 years who have questions about the shingles vaccine should discuss the risks and benefits with a health care provider. There are no long-term studies showing how long the vaccine is effective in 50 to 59 year olds. In adults vaccinated at age 60 years or older, protection from the vaccine decreases within the first 5 years after vaccination. Protection beyond 5 years is uncertain; therefore, adults receiving the vaccine before age 60 years might not be protected when their risks for shingles and its complications are greatest.

What You Need to Know about the Shingles Vaccine

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