Shingles vaccines help prevent shingles caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV). VZV is the same virus that causes chickenpox, which stays dormant in your body and can cause shingles later in life. Though shingles cannot spread directly from one person to another, the VZV can spread and cause chickenpox in those who never had chickenpox or had never received the chickenpox vaccine .Transmission of the VZV is through direct contact with fluid from the shingles rash blisters.People with shingles cannot spread the VZV before their rash blisters appear or after the rash has crusted.
The first symptom of shingles is usually pain, which can be intense with even a slightest touch. Other symptoms of shingles include rash, fluid filled blisters, fever, headache, chills, or stomach upset.
A common complication of shingles, especially in older adults is a nerve pain, called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which can be severe and long-lasting, even after the rash has cleared. Other rare complications include pneumonia, brain inflammation (encephalitis), hearing loss or blindness.
The recombinant shingles vaccine does not contain the live VZV, and is given by injection into a muscle. The live shingles vaccine contains the weakened VZV and is given by injection just underneath the skin.
Who Should Receive the Shingles Vaccine? It is recommended in older adults, such as those 50 years of age or older who would benefit from immunity to shingles. Check with your doctor for more information.