Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Vaccination
Shingles is a painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs.
Shingles vaccine was recently recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people 60 years old or older. See MMWR: Prevention of Shingles (and corrections.)
What You Should Know:
For Health Professionals:
For the Media:
What You Should Know
- Brief description
Symptoms, treatment, transmission, etc.
- Questions and Answers
- Pictures of Shingles
Warning: Some of these photos are quite graphic.
- Protect Yourself Against Shingles: Get Vaccinated updated October 2008
- As an adult, do I need this vaccine?
(60 years old or older)
- Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
- Questions and Answers Updated October 2008
- Side Effects
As with all vaccines, there can be minor reactions, including pain and redness at the injection site, headache, fatigue or a vague feeling of discomfort.
For Health Professionals
- Print Ads (fact sheets, personal story, and poster) Updated July 2008
- Age Page on Shingles (exit)
National Institute on Aging
- Resources on Shingles (exit)
National Insitute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
- Shingles interactive tutorial (exit)
Patient Education Institute also available in: Spanish (exit)
- 2008 podcast: Immunizations Part II: Shingles Vaccine
Details on podcasts page
- 2008 webcast: Zoster and Zoster Vaccine & Adolescent Vaccination Recommendations (originally aired Jan. 17, 2008) webcast only
- 2007 slides: Clinical education slide set
from the "Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases" course
- 2007 broadcast: Immunization Update
- 2006 broadcast: Adult Immunization Update
- 2006 podcast: Vaccine Guidelines for Healthcare Providers - Herpes Zoster
Details on podcasts page
For the Media
- CDC Seeks to Protect Older Adults with Shingles Vaccine Message (138 KB/17 pages) posted April 2008 (text-only version 48 KB)
- CDC's press release
May 15, 2008 - Posted MAY 2008
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Content last reviewed on May 16, 2008
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases