Typically, these side effects appear within hours or days of receiving the vaccination. They resolve on their own within 2–5 days. According to the Shingrix package insert, adverse reactions at the injection site are frequent, and the most common side effects of the shingles vaccine include: Pain: 78% of recipients.

How soon after shingles vaccine will I get side effects?

When They Start, How Long They Last – The shingles vaccine is given in a two-shot series. You may experience side effects after the first, second, or both shots. Most of the time, these symptoms are mild and occur immediately following vaccination. They typically only last for two or three days.

  1. Side effects of the shingles vaccine are more common in younger people, and might interrupt your normal daily activities for a few days.
  2. This may seem like a downside of the shingles vaccine, but remember that these symptoms are a result of the creation of a strong shingles defense within your body.
  3. It is OK to take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) after a shingles vaccine to relieve symptoms.

Rest and plenty of fluids may help, too.

Why do I feel so bad after my second shingles shot?

Common side effects of the second dose of the Shingrix vaccine include pain, swelling, and fever. Some side effects are more likely to occur after the second dose than after the first dose. Shingrix is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccine that helps prevent shingles, an infection caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, in adults ages 50 and older.

muscle painchillsfatigueheadache

In this article, we review all the potential side effects of Shingrix. We also explore how to ease symptoms and when to seek medical help. Pain at the injection site is a common side effect of many vaccines, including Shingrix. This pain is generally mild but can feel like anything from slight discomfort to deep bruising.

In some cases, injection site pain can be severe enough to limit arm movement. To ease this discomfort, you can apply cold packs to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. If these aren’t effective, over-the-counter (OTC) pain remedies may help. However, if you have injection site pain that is severe or lasts longer than 2 to 3 days, follow up with your doctor.

Redness at and around the injection site is common and may appear immediately or some days after receiving Shingrix. This redness commonly develops due to a localized immune system response, which shouldn’t cause further concern. Arm redness should disappear within a few days after receiving the vaccine.

  • However, if you experience redness with a rash or severe pain, let your doctor know as soon as possible.
  • Swelling around the injection site is another common side effect of Shingrix.
  • Like pain and redness, minor swelling can usually result from a localized immune system response, which isn’t necessarily dangerous.

You can apply hydrocortisone cream on or around the injection site to reduce redness and swelling. However, if you experience severe swelling that doesn’t go away, or the swelling accompanies other symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention right away.

  1. Itchy skin, also called pruritus, can potentially occur near the injection site after receiving Shingrix.
  2. Itching, swelling, and redness aren’t usually a huge cause for concern, as they often occur together as a localized reaction.
  3. Applying Benadryl gel (or spray) or hydrocortisone cream around the injection area can help reduce itchy, swollen, or red skin.

If the itching worsens or spreads away from the injection site, get in touch with your doctor. Fever is one of the most common side effects of many vaccines, including Shingrix. This symptom often accompanies other feelings of malaise, such as muscle pains, chills, and headaches.

  • A fever indicates that the body’s immune system is doing its job of responding to the vaccine.
  • Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other OTC fever reducers can help keep a fever and many accompanying symptoms at bay.
  • However, if you develop a high-grade fever of 103°F (39.4°C) or higher, reach out to your doctor immediately.

Muscle pain, also known as myalgia, is another common side effect of most vaccines, including Shingrix. The symptom is more common after receiving the second dose, as the body continues to build stronger immunity to the virus. You can take OTC remedies to help ease muscle pain.

This symptom generally peaks within the first few days after the vaccine and disappears as the immune system settles back down. Joint pain, also called arthralgia, is a potential side effect of Shingrix that commonly occurs with muscle pain. This type of pain after a vaccine is generally due to a temporary increase in inflammation, which can affect the fluid around the joints.

Like muscle pain, taking an OTC pain reliever can help reduce joint pain from the vaccine. However, ask a doctor to look at any joint or muscle pain that doesn’t go away within a few days. Chills and muscle pain can occur together as a side effect of the Shingrix vaccine.

Like muscle pain, body chills are more common after the second dose due to an increased immune system response to the vaccine. Wrapping up in warm clothes and blankets, increasing the room temperature, and even taking a warm bath or shower can help ease body chills and aches. This symptom should disappear within 2 to 3 days after receiving the vaccine.

Fatigue is a common side effect of the second dose of Shingrix that can range from mild to severe. This symptom often occurs after vaccination when the body exerts extra energy to keep the immune system working. Resting throughout the day, getting extra sleep, and making sure not to overexert yourself can help reduce fatigue levels.

  1. Energy levels should usually return to normal within a few days of adequate rest, hydration, and nutrition.
  2. Headaches are another common side effect from the second dose of Shingrix and often occur in conjunction with fever.
  3. People who frequently get headaches or migraine attacks when sick may be more susceptible to developing a headache after vaccination.

OTC pain medications and adequate water and sleep can help relieve headache symptoms. However, if you have been experiencing headaches or head pain that worsens or persists without medication, reach out to your doctor. Dizziness is a potential side effect of the Shingrix vaccine that often accompanies other symptoms, like fever and headache.

  1. Inflammation within the sensory system is a common cause of dizziness after receiving a vaccine.
  2. Lying down and resting when you start to feel dizzy can help ease this symptom.
  3. Speak with your doctor right away if you’re unable to move around without feeling dizzy or you’ve been experiencing frequent dizzy spells.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are all side effects of the Shingrix vaccine. It’s common for gastrointestinal side effects — especially nausea or upset stomach — to accompany other side effects like fever, headache, and dizziness. Eating a bland diet and staying hydrated are two of the most important steps for easing gastrointestinal discomfort,

hivesface swellingthroat swellingdifficulty breathingfast heart ratedizzinessweakness

If you experience any of the above symptoms after receiving the Shingrix vaccine, seek medical attention immediately. Older adults are often more susceptible to shingles and the long-term complications it can cause, so Shingrix is intended for adults ages 50 and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you should receive Shingrix if you:

are healthyhad a previous shingles vaccine called Zostavax aren’t sure if you previously had chickenpox

Healthcare professionals can administer Shingrix to anyone who has had shingles or chickenpox in the past, including those who aren’t sure if they’ve already had chickenpox. Shingrix is a two-dose vaccine that helps prevent shingles in adults ages 50 years and older.

Does the first or second shingles shot have more side effects?

Summary – The FDA approved the shingles vaccine Shingrix to prevent shingles and possible health complications. The CDC recommends adults ages 50 and older and immunocompromised adults ages 19 and over get two doses of Shingrix. Shingrix is administered in two doses, usually two to six months apart.

Shingrix is safe and effective for most people. Side effects from the second dose of Shingrix are somewhat more common than the first dose, although that’s not always the case. Most side effects of Shingrix are mild and resolve on their own. The most common side effects from the shingles vaccine include redness/pain/swelling at the site of injection, headache, itchiness, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, fatigue, headache, dizziness, and upset stomach.

Very rarely, serious side effects, such as a severe allergic reaction, may occur.

How do you reduce the side effects of Shingrix?

The rest of your body: –

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muscle aches tiredness headache shivering

fever stomach pain nausea

These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away on their own in a few days.

Get the second dose of Shingrix even if you have a reaction after the first dose. Taking an over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen after getting Shingrix can help ease discomfort from side effects. Contact your doctor if you have serious side effects.

How often do you get side effects from shingles vaccine?

What are the side effects of the shingles vaccine?  is a common disease, affecting about 1 out of 3 adults during their lifetime. Shingles is most common among older adults. However, shingles can also occur in healthy younger adults and in children. Those with immune systems that have been weakened by HIV, AIDS, cancer or treatment with certain drugs are also at an increased risk of getting shingles.

Shingles causes a painful rash and blisters and can lead to serious complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia. The CDC recommends Shingrix to prevent shingles and its complications. Shingrix, approved by the FDA in 2017, provides stronger protection against shingles compared to Zostavax. Zostavax was the first FDA-approved vaccine for shingles, and it is no longer available in the United States.

An advantage to Shingrix is that it is a not a live virus vaccine. It is produced from part of the virus. You may experience some common side effects from the shingles vaccine. Common side effects to the shingles vaccine are usually mild to moderate in intensity and typically resolve quickly on their own within 2 to 3 days.

  • In clinical studies of the shingles vaccine, about 1 in 10 adults reported some pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.
  • Some people also report experiencing muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever and upset stomach after receiving the shingles vaccine.
  • Serious adverse events following the shingles vaccine are rare.

In very rare cases, people have developed a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis to the shingles vaccine. You should not get Shingrix if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of Shingrix.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women should wait to get the Shingrix vaccine. After the Shingrix vaccine became available, the CDC and the FDA began monitoring its safety through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). In 2019, the CDC reported that VAERS detected no unexpected patterns of serious or long-term side effects.

The CDC and FDA continuously monitor all vaccines through reports to VAERS for potential vaccine safety problems. The shingles vaccine has been closely studied. It has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated. Common side effects for most vaccines are mild and include pain, swelling or redness where the shot was given.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you have any questions about vaccine safety.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider, including your pharmacist, about your health history, including past illnesses and treatments, as well as any, to find out which vaccines are recommended for you.
  • Clinically reviewed and updated by Nora Laberee May 2023.

: What are the side effects of the shingles vaccine?

Can you drink alcohol after a Shingrix shot?

– There aren’t any specific warnings or guidelines about alcohol and Shingrix. If you have concerns about drinking alcohol and getting the Shingrix vaccine, talk with your doctor.

What medications to avoid after shingles vaccine?

Some products that may interact with this vaccine include: drugs that weaken the immune system (including cyclosporine, tacrolimus, cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids such as prednisone), certain antiviral drugs (such as acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir).

Is it OK to take ibuprofen after shingles vaccine?

Important reminders –

You may choose to take an over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen after getting Shingrix to ease discomfort from side effects. If you get side effects after the first dose of Shingrix, you should still get the second dose to get the full protection from the vaccine. Just because you have a reaction to the first dose does not mean that you will have a reaction to the second.

About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. The pain from shingles has been compared to childbirth or passing a kidney stone. It can last for months or years after the rash goes away. Shingles vaccine can help prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Photo Courtesy M.Oxman : Get the Shingrix Vaccine If You Are 50 or Older

Is Shingrix a live virus vaccine?

Zoster (shingles)
Disease Issues Contraindications and Precautions
Vaccine Recommendations Administering Vaccines
Immunocompromised Adults Storage and Handling
Vaccine Safety

/td> Disease Issues What is the cause of herpes zoster (shingles)? Herpes zoster is a painful rash that occurs along one or more dermatomes. Zoster is caused by reactivation of latent varicella zoster virus infection from a prior chickenpox infection. People who have had a prior infection with varicella zoster virus (chickenpox) are at risk of shingles. How common is herpes zoster (shingles)? During their lifetime about 30% of Americans will develop herpes zoster, which translates into an estimated 1 million cases each year in this country. The risk of zoster increases with increasing age; about half of all cases occur among people age 60 years or older. People who are immunosuppressed, including those with leukemia, lymphoma, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and people who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and cancer chemotherapy, also are at greater risk of zoster. Most people have only one episode of shingles. The risk of recurrence is low in people who are not immunosuppressed, but the precise incidence is unknown. Can you catch zoster from a person with active zoster infection? Zoster is caused by reactivation of a latent varicella virus infection (from having chickenpox in the past). Zoster is not passed from one person to another through exposure to another person with zoster. However, if a person who is susceptible to chickenpox (i.e., they had never had chickenpox and were not vaccinated against chickenpox) comes in direct contact with a person with a zoster rash, the virus could be transmitted to the susceptible person. The exposed person would develop chickenpox, not zoster. Covering the zoster rash reduces the chances of transmitting varicella zoster virus. For our “Mother’s Day Out” program, one of the teachers has shingles. The program serves moms of 2-month-olds to 4-year-olds. All children are up to date with their vaccinations, but some are too young to have received varicella vaccine. Is it safe for the teacher to work? In a school setting, an immunocompetent person with zoster (staff or students) can remain at school as long as the lesions can be completely covered. People with zoster should be careful about personal hygiene, wash their hands after touching their lesions, and avoid close contact with others. If the lesions cannot be completely covered and close contact avoided, the person should be excluded from the school setting until the zoster lesions have crusted over. See www.cdc.gov/chickenpox/outbreaks/manual.html for more information. If your program is licensed by a state or county, you should check their regulations as well. Should healthcare personnel in long-term care facilities be tested to see if they have had chickenpox before taking care of someone who has shingles? All healthcare personnel should ensure they are immune to varicella regardless of the setting in which they work. For healthcare personnel, accepted evidence of varicella immunity includes any of the following: 1) documentation of age-appropriate vaccination with a varicella vaccine, 2) laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease; 3) diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella disease by a healthcare provider; or 4) diagnosis or verification of a history of herpes zoster by a healthcare provider. What zoster vaccine is available in the United States? Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix, GlaxoSmithKline) was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2017. It is a subunit vaccine that contains recombinant varicella zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E in combination with a novel adjuvant (AS01B). Shingrix does not contain live VZV. It is FDA-approved and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for all people 50 years and older and for adults age 19 years or older who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed because of disease or therapy. It has not been evaluated and is not approved for the prevention of primary varicella infection. Shingrix is administered as a 2-dose series by the intramuscular route. The second dose should be given 2 to 6 months after the first dose, with a minimum interval of 1 month (4 weeks) between doses. Zoster vaccine live (ZVL, Zostavax, Merck) is a live attenuated vaccine that was licensed by the FDA in 2006 for adults age 50 and older and recommended by ACIP for people age 60 and older. Zostavax has been unavailable for use in the United States since November 18, 2020. How effective is Shingrix? Shingrix was studied in immunocompetent adults in 2 pre-licensure clinical trials. Efficacy against shingles was 97% for people 5059 years of age, 97% for people 6069 years of age, and 91% for people 70 years and older. Among people 70 years and older vaccine efficacy was 85% four years after vaccination. Vaccine effectiveness (VE) has been evaluated for a limited number of specific immunocompromising conditions. VE estimates vary depending upon the underlying cause of immunocompromise. Studies have estimated VE of 68.2% for autologous hematopoietic cell transplant recipients, and 87.2% and 90.5% for patients with hematologic malignancies and potential immune-mediated diseases, respectively. Will administering zoster vaccine reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) if a vaccinated person develops shingles? Yes. In clinical trials among immunocompetent adults age 50 years or older, Shingrix reduced the risk of PHN by 91%. One study among hematopoietic cell transplant recipients reported that vaccination reduced the risk of PHN by 89%. To whom should zoster vaccine be given? Shingrix is recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications for immunocompetent adults 50 years of age and older, including those who previously received Zostavax. On October 20, 2021, ACIP recommended 2 doses of RZV for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications in adults age 19 years or older who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed because of disease or therapy. ACIP published its zoster vaccination recommendations for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older in January 2018: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/pdfs/mm6703a5-H.pdf, ACIP published its recommendations for the use of recombinant zoster vaccine in adults age 19 years or older who are or will be immunocompromised in January 2022: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/pdfs/mm7103a2-H.pdf, My clinic cannot consistently keep Shingrix in stock due to high demand. How should we handle challenges ensuring patients receive a second dose? Clinicians and patients should make every effort to ensure that two doses of Shingrix are administered within the recommended interval of 2 to 6 months. If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose of Shingrix, administer the second dose when possible. Do not restart the vaccine series. Additional information for clinicians about Shingrix is available on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/hcp/index.html, Should Shingrix be given to people who have already received Zostavax? If so, what interval should separate them? Yes. ACIP recommends that people who previously received Zostavax receive 2 doses of Shingrix. The first dose of Shingrix may be given a minimum of 8 weeks after Zostavax. What is the minimum interval between doses of Shingrix? The recommended interval between Shingrix doses is 2 to 6 months. The minimum interval between doses of Shingrix is 4 weeks. If the second RZV dose is given more than 4 days sooner than 4 weeks after the first dose, a valid second dose should be repeated at least 4 weeks after the dose given too early. For adults who are or will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed and who would benefit from a shorter vaccination schedule, the second dose can be administered 12 months (a minimum of 4 weeks) after the first dose. What is the minimum age for administering Shingrix? The routinely recommended minimum age for Shingrix among immunocompetent adults is 50 years. However, if a dose is inadvertently administered to an immunocompetent adult 18 through 49 years of age CDC does not recommend repeating the dose. The second Shingrix dose should not be administered until the 50th birthday. This guidance does not appear in the most recent zoster ACIP statement but is in the “General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization” (Table 3-1 in the Timing and Spacing of Immunobiologics section at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/acip-recs/general-recs/timing.html ) and is based on guidance from CDC’s zoster subject matter experts. Among people who are or will be immunosuppressed or immunodeficient due to disease or therapy, the minimum age for vaccination is 19 years. If the second dose of Shingrix is delayed more than 6 months after the first dose do I need to restart the series? No. The vaccine series need not be restarted if more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose. Is there an upper age limit for receipt of zoster vaccine? No. If a patient received dose 1 of varicella vaccine (Varivax or ProQuad, Merck) at age 60 years, should we administer zoster vaccine as dose 2? The action taken depends on why varicella vaccine was given in the first place. If it was given because the person tested negative for varicella antibody, then the next dose should be varicella vaccine. If the varicella vaccine was given in error (i.e., without serologic testing), then Shingrix should be given. Should a person who received 2 doses of varicella vaccine but never had chickenpox be vaccinated with Shingrix? Shingrix may be administered to people who have previously received 2 doses of varicella vaccine. Compared to people who have had chickenpox, the risk of zoster among recipients of varicella vaccine (which contains a live-attenuated strain of varicella virus) is much lower, but is still possible. Before administering Shingrix is it necessary to ask if the person has ever had chickenpox or shingles? All immunocompetent people age 50 years or older-whether they have a history of chickenpox or shingles or not-should be given Shingrix unless they have a medical contraindication to vaccination. Among this population it is not necessary to ask about a history of chickenpox or to test for varicella antibody prior to or after giving the vaccine. Among immunocompromised people age 19 years or older, evidence of a history of varicella illness or varicella vaccination (confirming the need for Shingrix as a result of a history of exposure to a live varicella virus, whether the wild or live-attenuated vaccine strain) IS recommended. Shingrix may be administered to an immunocompromised person who has had chickenpox or shingles or has previously been vaccinated with varicella vaccine or zoster vaccine live. See the Immunocompromised Adults section below for additional information about partially-vaccinated immunocompromised adults with no history of chickenpox. Should people who haven’t had chickenpox or any doses of varicella-containing vaccine be vaccinated with recombinant zoster vaccine (Shingrix)? A person who has never been exposed to varicella virus through infection or vaccination with varicella vaccine or zoster vaccine live is not at risk for shingles. Shingrix has not been evaluated for the prevention of primary infection with varicella virus. People who have never had chickenpox are recommended to receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine. Serologic studies indicate that about 99% of people born before 1980 worldwide have had chickenpox even though many cannot recall having had chickenpox ( www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5705a1.htm ). As a result, there is no need to ask immunocompetent people age 50 years and older for their varicella disease history or to perform a laboratory test for serologic evidence of prior varicella disease. Immunocompromised adults age 19 years and older without evidence of exposure to live varicella virus through a history of chickenpox, zoster, or documentation of vaccination with live varicella vaccine (Varivax or ProQuad, Merck) or zoster vaccine live (Zostavax, Merck) should be evaluated further. Birth before 1980 is not sufficient proof of immunity for immunocompromised adults. For immunocompromised adults, evidence of immunity to varicella (confirming need for RZV) includes:

Documentation of two doses of varicella vaccine, or Laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease, or Diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella or herpes zoster by a healthcare provider.

For any adult who is clinically determined to be susceptible to primary varicella infection, refer to the ACIP varicella vaccine recommendations for further guidance, including post-exposure prophylaxis guidance for immunocompromised adults: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5604a1.htm, CDC has published clinical considerations for shingles vaccination of immunocompromised patients who lack evidence of immunity to chickenpox: www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html#special-populations, Can someone who has experienced an episode of shingles be vaccinated with zoster vaccine? Yes. Adults with a history of herpes zoster should receive Shingrix. If a person is experiencing an episode of zoster, vaccination should be delayed until the acute phase of the illness is over and symptoms abate. If a person was exposed to shingles by a spouse within the last few days, is there a recommended waiting period before the exposed person can receive zoster vaccine? There is no waiting period in such a situation. Shingles is not caused by exposure to another person with shingles. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of varicella zoster virus (VZV) in people who have had a prior VZV infection or varicella vaccination. However, exposure to someone with shingles can possibly cause chickenpox in a person with no immunity to varicella zoster virus (VZV) from either vaccination or prior chickenpox infection. A 33-year-old patient in my practice has already suffered from three episodes of shingles. He would like to receive Shingrix. Is this a good idea? ACIP recommends vaccination with Shingrix for adults age 19 years or older who are immunodeficient or immunosuppressed due to disease or therapy. Repeated shingles episodes are often associated with immunocompromise. If your patient’s recurrent shingles episodes are evaluated and clinically concluded to be the result of immunodeficiency or immunosuppression, he should be vaccinated with a two-dose series of Shingrix. We have a healthy 20-year-old patient who had a history of chickenpox disease. They now have shingles even though they have no known immunocompromising condition. Should we administer Shingrix after they recover? The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) does not recommend zoster vaccination for immunocompetent people younger than age 50 years regardless of their history of shingles. Can zoster vaccine be administered to people in long-term care facilities? Yes, unless they have a contraindication to vaccination. Can I give our long-term care residents zoster vaccine, injectable influenza, and pneumococcal vaccines on the same day? Yes. CDC’s “General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization” advise that non-live vaccines, such as Shingrix, can be administered concomitantly, at different anatomic sites, with any other live or non-live vaccine, including the vaccines you listed, as well as COVID-19 vaccines. They should be given as separate injections, not combined in the same syringe. Is documented receipt of Shingrix, in the absence of other criteria, proof of immunity to varicella? No. Documented receipt of Shingrix cannot be used as proof of immunity to varicella. Additionally, a dose of Shingrix cannot be counted as a dose of varicella vaccine. Can I give Shingrix at the same time as a tuberculin skin test? Yes. Shingrix is not a live virus vaccine and does not interfere with the tuberculin skin test (TST): it may be administered any time before or after a TST. Administration of a live virus vaccine can interfere with a tuberculin skin test (TST). If the TST is not administered on the same day as a live virus vaccine, the TST should be delayed until 46 weeks after the vaccination. Where can I find CDC’s guidance for vaccination of immunocompromised adults? ACIP published its recommendations for the use of recombinant zoster vaccine in adults age 19 years or older who are or will be immunocompromised in January 2022, available at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/pdfs/mm7103a2-H.pdf, These recommendations should be implemented in conjunction with CDC’s Clinical Considerations for the Use of Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV, Shingrix) in Immunocompromised Adults Aged >19 Years: www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html, Is Shingrix effective for immunocompromised adults? Shingrix has been studied in people with certain types of immunocompromise and has been shown to have moderate to high effectiveness against herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia. Because the causes of immunocompromise are so varied, the effectiveness and durability of protection provided by Shingrix also may vary depending upon the precise nature and severity of immunocompromise in a given individual. Is Shingrix safe for immunocompromised adults? ACIP and the FDA have determined that Shingrix is acceptably safe in immunocompromised individuals. Immune-mediated diseases were evaluated in six studies in five immunocompromised groups and were not increased among RZV recipients. One study in patients with hematologic cancers reported on graft-versus-host-disease among hematopoietic cell transplant recipients and did not identify an increased risk among RZV recipients. One study among kidney transplant patients reported on graft rejection and did not identify an increased risk among RZV recipients. Local and systemic grade 3 reactions (reactions that interfere with daily activities) were evaluated in six studies in five immunocompromised groups. Local grade 3 reactions occurred in 10.7% to 14.2% of RZV recipients, and systemic grade 3 reactions occurred in 9.9% to 22.3% of RZV recipients. Systemic grade 3 reactions were also reported by 6.0% to 15.5% of placebo recipients in these studies. What is the best time to vaccinate a patient who requires immunosuppression? Timing of vaccination should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. When possible, patients should be vaccinated before becoming immunosuppressed. If vaccination before initiating immunosuppressive treatment is feasible, a shortened interval of 4 weeks between doses 1 and 2 may be considered. If vaccination before immunosuppression is not possible, providers should consider timing vaccination when the immune response is likely to be most robust. For additional information about timing of vaccination and specific conditions, see CDC’s Clinical Considerations for the Use of Recombinant Zoster Vaccines in Immunocompromised Adults Aged ≥19 Years: www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html#clinical-guidance, Why do I need to consider evidence of immunity before vaccinating an immunocompromised person with Shingrix? Won’t Shingrix protect them from chickenpox? People who have neither experienced primary varicella infection (chickenpox), nor received live-attenuated varicella vaccine (vaccine strain VZV, contained in Varivax, ProQuad, and Zostavax, all by Merck) are not at risk for shingles. More than 99% of Americans born before 1980 have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember it, so additional screening is not recommended for immunocompetent people born before 1980 who are due for routine shingles vaccination. Children and adolescents who have received live-attenuated varicella vaccines (Varivax or ProQuad) are at risk for shingles, although they are at lower risk for shingles than are those who experienced chickenpox. Shingrix (RZV) is not indicated and has not been studied for the prevention of chickenpox. Receipt of Shingrix is not considered proof of varicella immunity, and Shingrix cannot be considered as either of the two doses of the varicella vaccine series. In addition, there are limited data on the use of Shingrix in people without a history of chickenpox, with or without a history of varicella vaccination. The consequences of primary varicella infection in immunocompromised adults can be severe. For adults who are or will be immunocompromised, evidence of immunity to varicella (confirming need for RZV) includes:

Documentation of two doses of varicella vaccine, or Laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease, or Diagnosis or verification of a history of varicella or herpes zoster by a healthcare provider.

Protection from primary varicella infection (chickenpox) is a priority for an adult who is or will be immunocompromised with no evidence of immunity to chickenpox. Refer to the ACIP varicella vaccine recommendations for further guidance, including post-exposure prophylaxis guidance for immunocompromised adults: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5604a1.htm, Should an immunocompromised adult who has no history of chickenpox but who received only one dose of live-attenuated varicella vaccine receive Shingrix? An adult who has documentation of one dose of varicella vaccine is potentially at risk for chickenpox (from exposure to a person with chickenpox) AND herpes zoster (either from a possible previous unrecognized case of chickenpox or from the vaccine strain of the virus). CDC subject matter experts advise that clinical management of a person with no proof of a past primary varicella infection and a history of only one varicella vaccination who is or will be immunocompromised depends upon the degree of immunocompromise of the patient:

If varicella vaccine is not already contraindicated due to significant immunocompromise, give the second varicella vaccine dose. Depending on the patient’s immunocompromising condition or therapy, the clinician may then consider initiating the Shingrix series at least 8 weeks after the second varicella vaccine dose to reduce the risk of herpes zoster. If the patient already has significant immunocompromise and the second varicella vaccine dose is contraindicated, the clinician should:

Consider the patient’s herpes zoster risk (based on their immunocompromising condition or therapy). On a case-by-case basis and if the clinician determines it is indicated, administer the Shingrix series to reduce the risk of herpes zoster. Be prepared to administer varicella immune globulin (VariZIG, Saol Therapeutics) in the event that the patient has a recognized exposure to a person with chickenpox, regardless of whether or not the patient received RZV.

For more information, see www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html, My patient is age 34 years and has well-controlled HIV infection, but no history of varicella vaccination, chickenpox, or shingles. Do I need to have proof of a history of varicella disease or vaccination before I vaccinate with Shingrix? Immunocompromised adults age 19 years and older without evidence of exposure to live varicella virus through a history of chickenpox, zoster, or documentation of vaccination with live varicella vaccine (Varivax or ProQuad, Merck) or zoster vaccine live (Zostavax, Merck) should be evaluated further for their risk of zoster before receiving Shingrix. Birth before 1980 is not sufficient proof of a history of primary varicella infection (chickenpox) for immunocompromised adults. Vaccination with varicella vaccine to prevent chickenpox may be considered for a patient with well-controlled HIV (e.g., CD4+ T-lymphocyte percentage of at least 15% and a count of at least 200 cells per microliter) and no evidence of a history of varicella disease or vaccination. Vaccination may be considered for a patient who has a CD4 count of at least 200 cells per microliter but no information on percentage. Vaccination is contraindicated if a patient has laboratory information on the CD4 percentage and/or count and either measure falls below the recommended acceptable threshold for vaccination. For other situations involving immunocompromised adults with no evidence of a history of varicella disease or vaccination, see detailed guidance provided by CDC at www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html#special-populations, My patient recently underwent a hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) and his oncology team plans to maintain him on antiviral therapy with valacyclovir for the next 12 months. When should he receive Shingrix? Valacyclovir, acyclovir, and famciclovir are antiviral medications that are active against herpesviruses, including varicella zoster virus. The risk of shingles risk is reduced during antiviral treatment. Since Shingrix is not a live virus vaccine, Shingrix may be administered while patients are taking antiviral medications if indicated. A patient who is taking a prophylactic antiviral for a fixed period of time while their immune system recovers from HCT, should ideally initiate vaccination with Shingrix about 2 months prior to discontinuation of antiviral therapy. Regardless of the duration of antiviral therapy after HCT, CDC recommends that autologous HCT recipients wait at least 3 months after transplant before initiating Shingrix vaccination. Allogenic HCT recipients should wait at least 6 months after transplantation. For additional details on timing after HCT, see www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html#clinical-guidance, I have an oncology patient age 35 years who had chickenpox as a child and is going to be initiating chemotherapy soon. What are the guidelines in such a situation? The risk for zoster and its severe morbidity and mortality is much greater for immunosuppressed people. A 2-dose series of Shingrix should be administered as soon as possible while the person’s immune system is intact. In cases such as this, depending upon the timing of chemotherapy initiation, you may wish to consider a shorter interval of at least 4 weeks (1 month) in order to complete the series as soon as possible. When can a patient who is immunocompetent now but who was on immunosuppressive chemotherapy in the past receive zoster vaccine? A person who was on immunosuppressive chemotherapy in the past but is not expected to be immunocompromised again may follow routine recommendations for shingles vaccination at age 50 years or older. If the patient is age 19 or older and expected to require repeated exposure to immunosuppressive chemotherapy in the future, then it is preferable to vaccinate now while the patient’s immune system is more robust. Can someone with hepatitis C receive zoster vaccine? Hepatitis C infection is not a contraindication for Shingrix vaccination. However, if someone with hepatitis C is receiving a medication that can cause immunosuppression, they should consult with their healthcare provider to discuss the clinical considerations for the timing of vaccination. Detailed guidance is available at www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html#clinical-guidance, Can a person age 60 years or older with a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, receive zoster vaccine? Yes. Shingrix can be administered in this situation. Optimally, vaccination should occur when the disease is well-controlled and not during an acute disease flare. My patient takes rituximab. When is the best time to vaccinate him? For patients receiving anti-B cell therapies (e.g., rituximab), CDC recommends administering a dose of RZV approximately 4 weeks prior to the next scheduled therapy. I have a 30-year-old patient who has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and will be starting immunosuppressing medication. She has no documentation of varicella vaccination and she cannot recall having chickenpox. Do I give her Shingrix? Shingrix has not been evaluated for, and is not recommended for, the prevention of primary infection with varicella virus (chickenpox). In this case, the patient is not yet immunocompromised and has no evidence of immunity to varicella. The simplest next step is to vaccinate the patient with two doses of varicella vaccine, spaced at least 4 weeks apart, before initiating immunosuppressing medication. If you wish, you may order a commercial serologic assay to look for evidence of past varicella virus exposure. However, remember that the sensitivity and specificity of these tests vary, and while such commercial tests can detect evidence of past varicella infection, they are not sensitive enough to reliably detect evidence of past vaccination with varicella vaccine. For patients who lack evidence of past infection or vaccination and who are immunocompromised already, CDC has provided additional detailed clinical considerations here: www.cdc.gov/shingles/vaccination/immunocompromised-adults.html#special-populations, My patient already has advanced HIV disease, is it too late to vaccinate with RZV? No. Antiretroviral treatment for HIV may improve immune response to vaccination; however, vaccination for shingles does not have to be delayed in order to achieve viral suppression, especially if this will significantly delay vaccine administration. Patients with advanced HIV should receive RZV, because the risk of shingles is further increased in the setting of such immune compromise. What adverse reactions have been reported with Shingrix? In pre-licensure clinical trials of Shingrix in immunocompetent adults age 50 years or older, the most common adverse reactions were pain at the injection site (78%), myalgia (45%), and fatigue (45%). Any grade 3 adverse event (reactions related to vaccination which were severe enough to prevent normal activities) was reported in 17% of vaccine recipients compared with 3% of placebo recipients. Grade 3 injection-site reactions (pain, redness, and swelling) were reported by 9% of vaccine recipients, compared with 0.3% of placebo recipients. Grade 3 solicited systemic events (myalgia, fatigue, headache, shivering, fever, and gastrointestinal symptoms) were reported by 11% of vaccine recipients and 2.4% of placebo recipients. The occurrence of local grade 3 reactions did not differ by vaccine dose. However systemic grade 3 reactions were reported more frequently after dose 2. Rates of serious adverse events (an undesirable experience associated with the vaccine that results in death, hospitalization, disability or requires medical or surgical intervention to prevent a serious outcome) were similar in vaccine and placebo groups. Among immunocompromised recipients of RZV, local grade 3 reactions occurred in 10.7% to 14.2% of RZV recipients, and systemic grade 3 reactions occurred in 9.9% to 22.3% of RZV recipients, compared with 0% to 0.3% and 6.0% to 15.5%, respectively, among placebo recipients. Limited studies have found no evidence of an increased risk of immune-mediated diseases, graft-versus-host-disease, or transplant rejection among certain categories of immunocompromised RZV recipients. What should I advise my patients about adverse reactions after Shingrix? Before vaccination, providers should counsel Shingrix recipients about common expected systemic and local adverse reactions (described above). Reactions to the first dose do not strongly predict reactions to the second dose. If a patient experiences side effects, any local (e.g., redness, pain, swelling at the injection site) or systemic (e.g., fever, chills, headache, body aches) reactions typically go away within 72 hours after vaccination. It is generally not recommended to take medication for pain or fever (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen) before vaccination; however, such medications may be taken to alleviate local or systemic symptoms after vaccination, if needed. Shingrix recipients should be encouraged to complete the series even if they experienced a grade 3 reaction to the first dose. Can the Shingrix vaccine cause shingles? No. Shingrix contains only a small part of the varicella zoster virus that causes shingles. Shingrix does not contain any live varicella zoster virus. What are the contraindications to Shingrix? The only contraindication is a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine component or following a prior dose. What are the precautions to the administration of Shingrix? The only precaution is the presence of a moderate or severe acute illness, including having an active case of herpes zoster. If the patient has zoster, vaccination should be deferred until lesions have crusted and symptoms have abated. There is currently no ACIP recommendation for RZV use in pregnancy; therefore, providers should consider delaying RZV until after pregnancy. There is no recommendation for pregnancy testing before vaccination. I have an immunocompromised patient who recently gave birth and is breastfeeding. Do we defer Shingrix until breastfeeding ends? Breastfeeding is NOT a precaution to vaccination with Shingrix (RZV). Recombinant vaccines such as RZV pose no known risk to mothers who are breastfeeding or to their infants. Clinicians should consider vaccination without regard to breastfeeding status if RZV is otherwise indicated. If an adult eligible for RZV has already had zoster with postherpetic neuralgia or ophthalmic complications, when can they receive zoster vaccine? Once they are no longer acutely ill, they can be vaccinated with Shingrix. There is no evidence that vaccine will have therapeutic effect for a person with existing zoster or postherpetic neuralgia. How long should we wait before giving Shingrix to a patient who has had a blood transfusion? There is no waiting period for administering Shingrix following transfusion. Shingrix contains no live virus so may be given at any time after receipt of a blood product. A 65-year-old patient is having major back surgery next week. He is requesting zoster vaccine today. Can I give him the vaccine? Yes. Shingrix can be administered in this situation. We have a 61-year-old patient who is taking 500 mg of valacyclovir (Valtrex) daily. Can she receive Shingrix? Yes. Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are antiviral drugs that are active against herpesviruses. These drugs will have no effect on Shingrix, which does not contain live varicella virus. If my patient is taking Tamiflu (oseltamivir), can she receive zoster vaccine? Yes. Although oseltamivir is an antiviral drug, it is only effective against influenza A and B viruses. Shingrix does not contain live virus and will not be affected by oseltamivir. How is recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix) administered? Reconstitute recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix, GSK) using only the adjuvant solution provided with the vaccine antigen. After reconstitution, administer Shingrix immediately by the intramuscular route or store the reconstituted vaccine refrigerated between 2° and 8°C (36° and 46°F) and use within 6 hours. Discard reconstituted vaccine if not used within 6 hours or if frozen. If Shingrix is reconstituted with other than the supplied adjuvant solution, it should be repeated. The dose can be repeated immediately. There is no interval that must be met between these doses. A patient was inadvertently given Shingrix by the subcutaneous rather than the intramuscular route. Does the dose need to be repeated? Shingrix has been shown to be immunogenic when given by the subcutaneous route. A dose erroneously given by this route does not need to be repeated. When reconstituted, the volume of Shingrix is more than 0.5 mL. Should the entire volume of reconstituted vaccine be administered or just 0.5 mL as indicated in the package insert? The Shingrix adjuvant solution may contain up to 0.75 mL of liquid. The entire volume of the adjuvant solution should be withdrawn and used to reconstitute the lyophilized vaccine. After mixing, withdraw the recommended dose of 0.5 mL. Discard any reconstituted vaccine left in the vial. Can pharmacists in all states administer zoster vaccine? According to the American Pharmacist Association, all states allow pharmacists to administer zoster vaccine. Not all pharmacists provide vaccination services, and of those who do, not all administer zoster vaccine. It is best to call the pharmacy ahead of time to find out if they have Shingrix to administer to your patients. The vaccine must be administered in the pharmacy. Do NOT instruct the patient to transport the vaccine from the pharmacy back to your office. This could damage the potency of the vaccine. A 60-year-old patient was inadvertently given varicella vaccine instead of Shingrix. Should the patient still be given Shingrix? If so, how long an interval should occur between the 2 doses? CDC recommends that if a provider mistakenly administers varicella vaccine to a person for whom zoster vaccine is indicated, no specific safety concerns exist, but the dose should not be considered valid. You should administer a dose of Shingrix to the patient during that same visit (same day). If the error is not detected and corrected on the same day, Shingrix should be administered at least 8 weeks after receipt of the varicella vaccine. However, if Shingrix is inadvertently administered less than 8 weeks after the varicella vaccine, CDC experts state that the Shingrix dose does not need to be repeated if given at least 24 days after the varicella vaccine (in other words, 4 weeks minus the 4-day grace period). A second dose of Shingrix should be given 26 months after the first dose of Shingrix. These events should be documented and procedures put in place, such as checking the vial label 3 times to be sure you are administering the product you intend, to prevent this from happening again. If Shingrix is erroneously given to a child for prevention of varicella, the dose is invalid, but is there a waiting period before a valid dose of varicella vaccine can be given? Is it OK to give a dose of varicella vaccine as soon as the error is discovered? There is no waiting period. The varicella vaccine dose can be given at any time after the Shingrix dose. Review your procedures to prevent this from happening again. Always check the label 3 times to ensure you are administering the product intended. Such an error also should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) by phone 1-800-822-7967 or online at https://vaers.hhs.gov, We inadvertently gave a 27-year-old healthcare worker Shingrix rather than varicella vaccine for work. Does this dose count? No. The Shingrix vaccine does not count as a vaccination against primary varicella infection (chickenpox). The first varicella vaccine dose can be given at any time after the Shingrix dose. The second dose of varicella vaccine should be given 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose. You should always check the label 3 times to ensure you are administering the product intended. While giving a dose of Shingrix the syringe came loose from the needle and part of the dose was lost. Will the patient be protected with this partial dose or does it need to be repeated? A dose less than the full 0.5 mL dose is generally not considered valid and should generally be repeated. If the patient is still in the office the dose can be repeated immediately. If the repeat dose cannot be given on the same day CDC recommends that it should be given 4 weeks after the invalid dose. The provider does have discretion as to whether the amount of vaccine lost is negligible, to make a decision not to repeat the dose of vaccine. My medical assistant inadvertently administered a 0.5 mL dose of the Shingrix diluent only. The dose did not contain any antigen. When can we administer a properly reconstituted dose? The CDC zoster subject matter experts recommend that in this situation you should wait 4 weeks before giving a repeat dose. Several doses (antigen and diluent) of Shingrix were mistakenly stored in our office freezer. One of these doses was administered to a patient. Is this dose valid and if not, when can it be repeated? Any Shingrix, either antigen or diluent, that is exposed to freezing temperature should not be used. If a dose exposed to freezing temperature is given to a patient the dose should be considered invalid and should be repeated 4 weeks after the invalid dose. How should Shingrix be stored? Both lyophilized Shingrix and the adjuvant solution diluent must be stored at refrigerator temperature, between 2° and 8°C (between 36° and 46°F). Protect the vials from light. Do not freeze. Vaccine or adjuvant solution that has been frozen must be discarded. If vaccine that was frozen was administered, the dose does not count and should be repeated. The repeat dose should be administered 4 weeks after the frozen dose. After reconstitution, administer Shingrix immediately or store refrigerated between 2° and 8°C (between 36° and 46°F) and use within 6 hours. Discard reconstituted vaccine if not used within 6 hours. How should Shingrix be transported to an off-site clinic location? Shingrix is stored at refrigerator temperature. Transport of refrigerated vaccines is described in detail in the CDC Storage and Handling Toolkit, available at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/admin/storage/toolkit/storage-handling-toolkit.pdf, pages 2224. Providers should also review the vaccine package inserts for the specific vaccines being transported. Back to top

Does the Shingrix vaccine last a lifetime?

Key Takeaways –

New data shows that the Shingrix vaccine is 89% effective at preventing shingles in older people for at least 10 years following the two-dose administration.Previous studies had shown the shingles vaccine offered protection for up to seven years. Since the vaccine’s efficacy is long-lasting, experts say it’s unlikely people will ever need a shingles booster shot.

According to new data presented at IDWeek, the joint annual meeting of several infectious disease societies, the effectiveness of Shingrix, the vaccine to prevent shingles, appears to last at least 10 years. Previous studies had shown the shingles vaccine was effective for seven years after the first dose was administered.

  • But this new data shows it lasts even longer, and suggests Shingrix boosters are likely unnecessary.
  • Shingrix is recommended for people over age 50 and is administered as two shots given two to six months apart.
  • It is also recommended for people under age 50 who are immunocompromised.
  • The vaccine is a zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted (an adjuvant is an ingredient added to vaccines to boost the immune response).

The latest findings from ongoing follow-up studies show that the vaccine is at least 89% effective in the 10 years after administration in people aged 50 and up. The study, called Zoster-049, is a six-year extension of two, phase III randomized clinical trials (ZOE-50 and ZOE-70).

Is there a downside to the shingles vaccine?

Should I get the shingles vaccine? If I’ve already had shingles, should I get the vaccine so that I don’t get shingles again? – Answer From Pritish K. Tosh, M.D. People who are eligible to get it should get the Shingrix vaccine in the U.S. Shingrix is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for adults age 50 and older for the prevention of shingles and related complications, whether they’ve already had shingles or not.

  1. You may get the Shingrix vaccine even if you’ve already had shingles.
  2. Also, consider getting the Shingrix vaccine if you’ve had the Zostavax vaccine in the past, or if you don’t know whether you’ve had chickenpox.
  3. Shingrix is a nonliving vaccine made of a virus component.
  4. It’s given in two doses, with 2-6 months between doses.

The most common side effects of a shingles vaccine are redness, pain, tenderness, swelling and itching at the injection site, and headaches. The shingles vaccine Zostavax is no longer sold in the U.S. but may be available in other countries. Although some people will develop shingles despite vaccination, the vaccine may reduce the severity and duration of it.

  • Have ever had an allergic reaction to any component of the shingles vaccine
  • Have a weakened immune system due to a condition or medication
  • Have had a stem cell transplant
  • Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant

The cost of the shingles vaccine may not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid or insurance. Check your plan. With Pritish K. Tosh, M.D.

Does the Shingrix vaccine have long term side effects?

What side effects can I expect from the first dose of Shingrix? – The Shingrix vaccine is a two-dose series, which means that you’ll receive one dose of the vaccine, and then a second dose between 1 and 6 months later. Mild side effects after getting your first dose of Shingrix are common. Examples of mild side effects that were commonly reported in clinical trials of Shingrix include:

fatigue dizziness fainting gastrointestinal side effects*reaction at the injection site*muscle pain*

Though these side effects can occur after your Shingrix dose, not everyone receiving the vaccine will experience them. In addition, most side effects from Shingrix only lasted between 2 and 3 days before easing. So if you do experience side effects, they are typically short term.

Can you get the Shingrix vaccine every 5 years?

Is the shingles vaccine covered by insurance? – The shingles vaccine may be covered by insurance depending upon the insurance program:

Medicare: Medicare Part D covers shingles vaccine expenses, but it depends on the plan. You may need to pay either in part or full and then get it reimbursed. Medicare part B does not cover the vaccine. Medicaid: Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine. You can find out by contacting your insurer. Private health insurance: Most private health insurance programs cover the shingles vaccine, but you may need to pay some part of the expenses depending on your plan. Vaccine assistance program: Check with the Shingrix manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, if they have a Shingrix vaccine assistance program. Through vaccine assistance programs, people who cannot afford the vaccine can get help in the form of free vaccination.

Medically Reviewed on 6/1/2022 References Watson S. New Shingles Vaccine: What You Need To Know. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/news/20191113/new-shingles-vaccine_what-you-need-to-know Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Does Shingrix cause Guillain Barre Syndrome?

Recurrence of a Rare Subtype of Guillain-Barré Syndrome Following a Second Dose of the Shingles Vaccine Monitoring Editor: Alexander Muacevic and John R Adler 1 Medical Education, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, USA Find articles by 2 Family Medicine, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D.

  • School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, USA Find articles by © 2022, Chohan et al.
  • This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an acute, immune-mediated polyneuropathy. The exact cause of GBS remains unknown, however, it commonly develops post-infection. Since the 1950s, various vaccines have been attributed to causing the syndrome, yet no definitive relationship has ever been determined.

  • In 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a black-box warning for Shingrix, a non-live recombinant vaccine against the varicella-zoster virus, regarding a possible risk of acquiring GBS post-vaccination in adults aged 65 and older.
  • We report the recurrence of a rare subtype of GBS in a 61-year-old patient following the second dose of Shingrix.

This case highlights the difficulty of diagnosing and treating recurrent GBS. It also raises awareness that Shingrix may be related to the development of GBS in younger patients. This case also emphasizes the importance of differentiating GBS from other polyneuropathies.

Eywords: gbs variant, neuromuscular disease, vzv, zoster vaccine, shingrix, guillain-barré syndrome Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) is an immune-mediated polyneuropathy. It is thought to be the most common form of acute, flaccid neuromuscular paralysis in the United States. Every year, there are one to two cases per 100,000 individuals, with the highest incidence in males,

The pathogenesis of GBS is the formation of immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies against gangliosides in myelinated axons of the peripheral nervous system. This demyelination, in turn, leads to the delayed transmission of impulses between neurons. About 70% of patients develop the syndrome after an infection,

Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) is thought to be the most common preceding agent, However, nonspecific viral pathogens that cause diarrheal illnesses may also be implicated. In turn, molecular mimicry, where antibodies against recently acquired infectious agents may react with gangliosides on neurons, may be involved in GBS,

GBS can present as differing variants. The most common variant in the United States, acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathy (AIDP), is characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of myelin, Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) and acute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) are rare variants that may occur due to molecular mimicry of axonal components.

The former is characterized by motor impairment only, while the latter is characterized by motor and sensory weakness. Most variants of GBS only affect the peripheral nervous system. Symptoms are characterized by progressive, bilateral weakness of the extremities. This leads to diminished deep tendon reflexes and ataxia.

Sensory disturbances are nonspecific but include paresthesia, numbness, and impaired proprioception and vibration. There are four required criteria for the diagnosis of GBS: 1. progressive symmetric weakness of more than a single limb; 2. hyporeflexia or areflexia; 3.

progression of symptoms in less than four weeks; 4. symmetric weakness, An initial diagnosis of GBS is often made clinically. After admitting the patient, the next step is performing a lumbar puncture. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis commonly shows albuminocytological dissociation – an increase in protein count but normal lymphocyte count.

The prevalence of this finding has an 80% sensitivity for the disorder, A nerve conduction study can be performed. Electrodes are placed on the skin overlying a nerve and measure the speed of electrical impulses moving through neurons. Delayed F-waves, motor responses to nerve stimulations, and lower conduction velocities are characteristic of GBS.

  1. While this is the main diagnostic test done, electromyography (EMG) may also be performed.
  2. This measures the strength of impulses traveling to muscles.
  3. Diminished speed points to GBS and which specific variant the patient may have.
  4. The most lethal complication of GBS is diaphragmatic weakness and subsequent respiratory failure.

As such, frequent monitoring of vital capacities and inspiratory force is done, If needed, the patient may be intubated and placed on mechanical ventilation. Plasma exchange (PLEX) or intravenous immunoglobulin G therapy (IVIG) is often done for patients experiencing debilitating weakness.

  • PLEX directly removes antibodies and immune complexes in the plasma that may be causing GBS.
  • IVIG’s role is less understood but is thought to impair antigen presentation, modulation of antibodies, and disruption of complement,
  • Shingles, known as Herpes Zoster, is an infection that occurs after varicella-zoster virus (VZV) reactivation.

VZV is often acquired in childhood and can remain latent in the dorsal root ganglion. Immunosuppression (from other illnesses) or age-related immune system decline can lead to decreased protection against the virus, and subsequent reactivation, The diagnosis of VZV is clinical, with the appearance of a painful, pustular rash in a dermatomal pattern.

In October 2017, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved Shingrix, a non-live recombinant vaccine aimed to prevent shingles in adults 50 years and older. Administered in two doses, two to six months apart, the most common side effects are pain at the site of injection, muscle aches, and fever.

In March 2021, the FDA placed a black box warning on Shingrix regarding the possible risk of acquiring GBS. A self-controlled case series found an increased risk of GBS during a 42-day period after vaccination with Shingrix, The study also found an estimated three cases of GBS per million vaccinations administered in adults aged 65 and older,

This report illustrates the case of an elderly male who developed the rare acute motor sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN) variant of GBS. He recovered fully. Almost a year after his initial episode, the patient experienced a recurrence of the AMSAN variant of GBS following the administration of the Shingrix vaccine.

The patient had no other illnesses or infectious exposures prior to his recurrence episode. Recurrent GBS is a rare phenomenon and difficult to diagnose. Limited literature exists on how the disorder presents and the risk factors associated with it. We hope to increase awareness of recurrent GBS and the possible link to vaccination with this case report.

  1. Initial episode The patient was a 61-year-old with a past medical history of ​hypothyroidism, bipolar disorder, obstructive sleep apnea, hyperlipidemia, lumbar spine surgery, and right total knee replacement.
  2. Over the course of two weeks, the patient developed weakness in his body.
  3. He had recurrent, five-minute-long episodes of bilateral shaking of hands, which progressed to his entire body.

His leg weakness and gait instability lead to three falls. The patient endorsed feeling particularly weak when standing and needing to support himself with a wall to remain upright. The patient denied experiencing vertigo, visual impairment, hearing loss, sensory impairment, headaches, or loss of consciousness.

After visiting his psychiatrist, who noticed his weakness, he was encouraged to visit the emergency department (ED). Upon arrival at the ED, the patient was admitted to neurology and underwent further workup. The patient denied recent illnesses, gastrointestinal issues, or travel outside his home state.

Physical examination showed globally reduced pinprick sensation, reduced sensation to vibration bilaterally below the ankles, and impaired proprioception bilaterally below the ankles. The patient had absent deep tendon reflexes in the bilateral upper and lower extremities.

  1. Romberg sign was also present at the time of examination.
  2. The patient had no abnormalities on an initial complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, and urinalysis.
  3. All hormones and inflammatory mediators were within normal limits.
  4. ENA, ANA, anti-DSDNA, anti-GQ-1B, and anti-GQ-1C were negative.

A paraneoplastic panel revealed no abnormalities.C. jejuni antibodies were negative. A lumbar puncture revealed albuminocytological dissociation-elevated protein with normal leukocyte count (Table ). Nerve conduction and EMG were also done and pointed to a diagnosis of the AMSAN variant of GBS.

CSF Parameters Patient’s Values Reference
Protein 84 15-60 mg/dL
Leukocyte Count 4 0-5 mm 3
Glucose 75 50-75 mg/dL
Lactic acid 17 10-25 mg/dL
Oligoclonal bands Negative Negative in GBS

The patient received five sessions of plasma exchange (PLEX) every other day over the course of one week. He received four total sessions. He gradually experienced an improvement in motor and sensory parameters. He was discharged after eight days with referrals to outpatient physical/occupational therapy and neurology.

  • Recurrence episode Approximately 10 months later, the patient presented to his neurologist due to one week of difficulty walking.
  • The patient endorsed feeling “wobbly” and unable to feel sensations in his fingers and toes.
  • He also endorsed shortness of breath.
  • Due to possible respiratory distress, his neurologist advised him to go to the emergency department.

Upon arrival, the patient was again admitted. The patient denied recent illnesses, gastrointestinal issues, or travel outside his home state. The patient said he received a second dose of Shingrix two weeks before symptoms started. Since his symptoms presented nearly identically to the first episode, the patient was diagnosed with acute recurrent exacerbation of the AMSAN variant of GBS.

  1. He was monitored for respiratory distress with pulmonary function testing every eight hours.
  2. Physical examination showed globally reduced pinprick sensation, reduced sensation to vibration bilaterally below the ankles, and impaired proprioception bilaterally below the ankles.
  3. The patient had absent deep tendon reflexes in the bilateral upper and lower extremities.

Romberg’s sign was unable to be assessed. The patient again received PLEX therapy daily for a total of four sessions. The patient experienced a complete improvement in motor strength. Sensation and reflexes continued to improve but had not yet returned to baseline.

  1. After five days of admission, the patient was discharged with recommendations to follow up with his neurologist.
  2. Over time, the introduction of several new vaccines has subsequently led to an increase in reported GBS cases.
  3. However, to date, little concrete evidence exists proving vaccines can cause the syndrome.

The 1976 influenza vaccine originated this association, with an estimated eight-fold increase in developing GBS, Subsequent seasonal influenza vaccinations have not been associated with a risk of developing GBS, After the introduction of the polysaccharide diphtheria toxoid conjugate vaccine (MCV4) in 2004, frequent reports of GBS occurring in children surfaced.

  1. Further studies have found no concrete association between the two,
  2. The introduction of the measles/mumps/rubella, human papillomavirus, and rabies virus has also led to numerous case reports of post-vaccination GBS.
  3. No causal relationship has ever been found,
  4. In addition to the primary trial that showed a modestly increased risk of developing GBS following Shingrix administration, there have been several case reports of this phenomenon.

In 2019, one report described a 76-year-old female who developed the syndrome 10 days following her first dose of Shingrix, Initial treatment with IVIG resulted in marked improvement; however, upon discharge, the patient re-experienced symptoms of GBS.

Further treatment with PLEX resulted in a return to baseline. Another report from 2020 describes a 79-year-old male who developed GBS 10-days following Shingrix administration, He was treated successfully with IVIG. Both reports are consistent with the primary trial, which found an increased risk in adults aged 65 and older who received the first dose,

Recurrence of GBS is defined as a second episode occurring at least two months after complete recovery from the first episode (or at least four months after partial recovery of the first episode), The recurrence rate is around 5%, Patients with recurrent GBS are generally younger and usually present with the Miller-Fisher subtype,

  1. Our patient had the AMSAN variant in both episodes.
  2. Treatment of recurrent GBS is similar to initial treatment, focusing on protecting airways and administrating PLEX or IVIG.
  3. Treatment of GBS following vaccination remains identical as well.
  4. Limited research exists on how similar or severe recurrent GBS is to the initial episode.

Studies from the 1990s generally found that recurrent episodes can be severe with possible respiratory impairment, However, a study from 2020 found most patients to have a mild second episode, Our patient had similar symptoms in each episode. His second episode presented with some respiratory distress in addition to previous symptoms similar to the previous episode.

This case also highlights the importance of distinguishing recurrent GBS from GBS with treatment-related fluctuation (GBS-TRF) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), as each is treated differently. GBS-TRF, which can occur in up to 15% of patients, there is post-treatment improvement in symptoms and then redevelopment of symptoms within two months,

It may occur due to lasting immune system activation and too early initiation of therapy, Patients with these cases are usually given specific, tailor-made treatments. Similar to GBS, CIDP is a demyelinating autoimmune disease where symptoms slowly worsen and persist longer than eight weeks,

  1. It is treated with steroids.
  2. Future studies should focus on determining whether there are links between the triggers for the initial and recurrent GBS episodes.
  3. This relationship may provide valuable insight into what causes the syndrome to develop.
  4. Insight into the clinical presentation of recurrent GBS must also be further studied.

Determining how similar it presents to the initial episode, which treatments are appropriate, and if there are any potential triggers will provide insight into how to treat the syndrome. Determining whether Shingrix is associated with GBS in younger patients is of utmost importance.

Our patient was younger than the demographic the FDA released a black box warning for. As we learn more about GBS and its causes, we will better understand any link to vaccines and can provide adequate care to patients suffering from it. The limitations of this report include potential exposures to risk factors of GBS that the patient may have been exposed to in the time period between his first and second episodes.

Additionally, recurrent GBS is still poorly understood and its relationship to Shingrix is actively being researched. To our knowledge, this is the first case of GBS recurrence following vaccination with Shingrix. Relatively little data exist regarding GBS recurrence risk after vaccination.

  • Officially, the CDC recommends precautions for patients with a history of GBS receiving certain vaccinations.
  • In general, providers are recommended to educate the patient on the efficacy and benefit of vaccines and monitor for any potential GBS-like symptoms following vaccination.
  • Clinicians should be specifically cautious for patients of any age, with a past history of GBS, who are receiving the Shingrix vaccine.

In terms of treatment, clinicians should also be aware that the regimen remains identical to the initial episode. When presented with a recurrence of GBS, clinicians must also definitively rule out GBS-TRF or CIDP before administering treatment. The content published in Cureus is the result of clinical experience and/or research by independent individuals or organizations.

  • Cureus is not responsible for the scientific accuracy or reliability of data or conclusions published herein.
  • All content published within Cureus is intended only for educational, research and reference purposes.
  • Additionally, articles published within Cureus should not be deemed a suitable substitute for the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Do not disregard or avoid professional medical advice due to content published within Cureus. The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Consent was obtained or waived by all participants in this study 1. Population incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Can Shingrix cause eye problems?

Chickenpox, shingles vaccine may cause corneal inflammation in some patients : Primary care physicians should be aware of possible vision side effect for susceptible patients – ScienceDaily.

Is there a lawsuit against the shingles vaccine?

Zostavax Lawsuits Allege the Vaccine Can Cause Serious Side Effects and Death. People have filed lawsuits over serious injuries they say Zostavax caused, ranging from vision and hearing loss to death.

Is it normal to be extremely tired with shingles?

What are the symptoms? – The first sign of shingles is often burning, sharp pain, tingling, or numbness in your skin on one side of your body or face. The most common site is the back or upper abdomen. You may have severe itching or aching. You also may feel tired and ill with fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach or belly pain.

  1. One to 14 days after you start feeling pain, you will notice a rash of small blisters on reddened skin.
  2. Within a few days after they appear, the blisters will turn yellow, then dry and crust over.
  3. Over the next 2 weeks the crusts drop off, and the skin continues to heal over the next several days to weeks.

Because shingles usually follows nerve paths, the blisters are usually found in a line, often extending from the back or side around to the belly. The blisters are almost always on just one side of the body. Shingles usually doesn’t cross the midline of the body.

  • The rash also may appear on one side of your face or scalp.
  • The painful rash may be in the area of your ear or eye.
  • When shingles occurs on the head or scalp, symptoms can include headaches and weakness of one side of the face, which causes that side of the face to look droopy.
  • The symptoms usually go away eventually, but it may take many months.

In some cases the pain can last for weeks, months, or years, long after the rash heals. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.

Can shingles affect blood pressure?

Shingles Can Lead to Other Health Issues Such as a Stroke and Heart Attack Shingles affect about a million Americans every year. It is a painful skin rash and one in three people will develop shingles during their lifetime. According to a recent published in PLOS Medicine, shingles can also lead to strokes and heart attacks.

  1. Previous studies had suggested an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks following shingles.
  2. In this study, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine looked at more than 67,000 U.S.
  3. Medicare patients (age 65 and older) who had shingles and subsequently suffered a stroke or heart attack during a five-year period afterward.

They determined that elderly patients who suffered from shingles were more than twice as likely to have a stroke and almost twice as likely to have a heart attack. Most of the incidents occurred in the first week after being diagnosed. The risk decreased gradually over the next six months.

Researchers suspect that the shingles virus causes dysfunction within the blood vessels, in which plaques rupture in the artery wall, increasing the risk of blood clots. Also, the pain in acute cases may be so severe that the stress can increase blood pressure to unhealthy levels. If you had chickenpox, which is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, you are at risk of having shingles.

Although recovery from chickenpox is usually quick, the virus can live throughout a person’s lifetime inside the nervous system. The dormant virus causes no symptoms, but if it becomes activated, it causes herpes zoster (also known as shingles or zoster).

Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles. It is not clear what causes the virus to reactivate, but it may be due to lowered immunity to infections as we grow older. The condition is most common and most severe in elderly people, with half of the episodes occurring in people over age 60. Multiple episodes are not uncommon.

Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain, tingling and itching. Blister-like sores, which last 1-14 days, develop on one side of the face or on one side of the body in a horizontal band. The pain, which can be debilitating, can continue for years after the rash disappears.

  • This condition, called post-herpetic neuralgia (PLN), greatly reduces the quality of life.
  • A person with shingles is contagious while the blister-like sores are present.
  • However, a person who has direct contact with the shingles rash and has not previously had either chickenpox or the vaccine can develop chickenpox but not shingles.

Vaccinations for the virus are available for children (chickenpox) and for adults (shingles). Researchers had hoped to determine the effectiveness of the vaccines, but not enough of the patients in the study had had the vaccine. There is no cure, but vaccination can prevent the condition or lessen its effects, and early treatment with antivirals may prevent lingering pain.

Should I rest after Shingrix vaccine?

Plan to take it easy for a couple days after each vaccine dose. Avoid unnecessary physical activity, including exercise, housework, and yard work. You may be advised to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), to help with arm pain.

Do any medications interfere with Shingrix?

Interactions – Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your health care professional.

Can you get flu shot after Shingrix?

Q: Can I give Shingrix with other adult vaccines? – A: Yes, Shingrix is an inactive vaccine so you can administer it with other inactive or live vaccines. If you administer Shingrix and another vaccine to someone on the same day, give them at different anatomical sites (e.g., different arms). For more information see the Best Practices of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP),

What medications to avoid after shingles vaccine?

Some products that may interact with this vaccine include: drugs that weaken the immune system (including cyclosporine, tacrolimus, cancer chemotherapy, corticosteroids such as prednisone), certain antiviral drugs (such as acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir).

Should I take it easy after shingles vaccine?

Report adverse reactions to Shingrix – Report clinically important adverse events that occur after vaccination, even if you are not sure whether the vaccine caused the adverse event, to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (). Know the benefits and side effects of Shingrix so you’re prepared to talk with your patients before administering the vaccine.

You can protect yourself against shingles. Shingles is a very painful disease, and your risk of getting it increases as you age. Also, you are more likely to have severe, long-term pain if you get shingles when you are older. About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and long-term pain from the disease. Two doses of Shingrix are more than 90% effective at preventing shingles. So it’s very important that you get this vaccine.

What to tell patients about Shingrix side effects:

Most people have a sore arm after they get Shingrix. Many people have redness and swelling on their arm spanning several inches where they got the shot. Many people also felt tired or experienced muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. About 1 out of 6 people had symptoms severe enough to prevent them from doing regular activities. You should plan to avoid strenuous activities, such as yardwork or swimming, for a few days after vaccination. Side effects usually go away after 2 to 3 days. Remember that the pain from shingles can last a lifetime, and these side effects should only last a few days. If you do have side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can submit a report of your side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System through the website ().

What to tell patients about dose two:

You need to come back in 2 to 6 months for your second dose. We can make that appointment now. Even if you have side effects from the first dose, it is important to get the second dose to build strong protection against shingles. Your reaction to each dose may be different; just because you have a reaction to the first dose does not mean that you will have a reaction to the second.

: Shingles Vaccine Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers

Is it OK to take ibuprofen after shingles vaccine?

Important reminders –

You may choose to take an over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen after getting Shingrix to ease discomfort from side effects. If you get side effects after the first dose of Shingrix, you should still get the second dose to get the full protection from the vaccine. Just because you have a reaction to the first dose does not mean that you will have a reaction to the second.

About 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. The pain from shingles has been compared to childbirth or passing a kidney stone. It can last for months or years after the rash goes away. Shingles vaccine can help prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Photo Courtesy M.Oxman : Get the Shingrix Vaccine If You Are 50 or Older

How long do you feel unwell with shingles?

Treating shingles – There’s no cure for shingles. But, there are ways to ease your symptoms until the condition improves. Shingles symptoms usually get better in 2 to 4 weeks. Speak to your GP or pharmacist as soon as you get symptoms of shingles. Early treatment may help to reduce the severity of the condition and complications.