The shingles vaccine is considered one of the most efficient ways to avoid getting shingles. You have probably heard about the shingles vaccine. We will try to give you more information. Researches have confirmed that getting a shingles vaccine can help you in avoiding shingles, so as in preventing it from coming back.
Shingles is also known as herpes zoster. What causes it is a virus and it is manifested through a skin rash or blisters that can be very painful. Varicella virus also causes chickenpox. Therefore, if you have had chickenpox, you probably still have the virus present in your body. Having a virus in the body is not the main concern, but the time when it gets activated. Virus activation usually occurs when people are exposed to stressful situations, whether it is emotional (psychological) or physical stress. The immune system gets weakened and the virus can activate. It starts spreading along one’s nerves and it can be visible on the skin – precisely, on the body part connected to those nerves.
The Shingles Vaccine: “Zostavax”
The shingles vaccine actually consists of certain amount of chicken pox virus. Of course, the virus in this vaccine is weak. When you get this vaccine, your immune system activates and starts fighting this weakened virus. This means that you will become immune to this virus. Vaccine has shown to be very efficient. People who are older than sixty are more sensitive and their immune system is weaker than in young people, so they are at higher risk of getting shingles. The shingles vaccine can considerably reduce this risk. The studies have shown that it can reduce the risk for some fifty percent.
Shingles vaccine is recommended to older people and other patients who have a weak immune system for any reason. If someone is taking drugs that weaken his immune system, he can develop shingles easily.
Is the Shingles Vaccine recommended to everyone?
The answer is – no. The shingles vaccine is not always a good solution. There are categories of patients that are recommended not to get it. If you are allergic to neomycin, gelatin, or other elements included in the shingles vaccine, you should not get it because it can threaten your life. People who use other drugs should also talk to their doctors before they decide to get this vaccine. If you are on chemotherapy, or have leukemia, tuberculosis or lymphoma – do not use the vaccine. Pregnant women should also talk to their doctors first. If you are trying to get pregnant and you have already gotten the shingles vaccine, you have to wait three months minimum to get pregnant.