The Efficacy Of The Shingles Vaccine

How effective is the shingles vaccine? Why get it? According to the CDC almost 1 out of every 3 people in the US will develop shingles, also known as herpes zoster, in their lifetime. 1 million cases of shingles each year are reported alone. Even if you have had chickenpox you are still at risk to develop shingles; even children get shingles. At least half the cases occur in men and women over the age of 6o.

In a recent editorial April 28, 2015, in the New England Journal of Medicine, the overall vaccine efficacy against herpes zoster was 97.2% and the Vaccine efficacy was between 96.6% and 97.9% for all age groups. Concluding the HZ/su vaccine significantly reduced the risk of herpes zoster in adults who were 50 years of age or older.

What Causes Shingles?

The varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox, causes shingles. After a person has chickenpox the virus stays inactive or dormant in their system; for some reason the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. The same virus that causes genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease, does not cause shingles.

Symptoms of Shingles

  • Painful rash that develops on one side of your face or body.
  • Rash forms blisters that scale over in 7 to 10 days and clears in 2-4 weeks
  • Itching
  • Tingling
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Upset Stomach

Who Is At Risk?

  • People who have a medical condition that keep their immune system from working properly, such as certain cancers and HIV.
  • People who receive immunosuppressive drugs, such as steroids and drugs that are given after an organ transplant.
  • And then there are some that get it and one knows why…..

The moral of this study is if you are over 50 get the vaccine; unless you want to give up a month of your life to feeling miserable.