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Center for Disease Control has reported that the side effects of shingles vaccine include redness, swelling, headache and soreness.

Shingles InformationShingles, or herpes zoster, is a disease caused by infection with the varicella zoster virus (VZV). The virus that causes shingles is the same that causes chickenpox. Shingles occur when the virus reactivates after years of remaining in a dormant state. Shingles is contagious and may spread from an affected person to those who have not had chickenpox. Initially, shingles manifest with burning pain and sensitive skin that may last for several days. Numbness and itching may also be present sometimes. After about a week, a rash may appear, similar to chickenpox rash. The rash starts as small blisters filled with fluid and it appears in a band or a small area that may start from the middle of the back around one side of the chest to the breastbone. Shingles can cause intensive pain. If early treatment is provided, severity and duration of the infection can be reduced. Commonly, shingles heal well and rarely cause any complications. However, the incidence of shingles infection and severity can be reduced with vaccination.

Shingles VaccineShingles vaccine is called Zostavax and it contains live, weakened varicella zoster virus. FDA in the United States approved the vaccine for people aged 60 and over who have had chickenpox. Scientific studies show that shingles vaccine can reduce the risk of developing the infection for 50%. The vaccine also reduces the symptoms and complications associated to shingles. It reduces the risk of postherpetic neuralgia by 67%. It was found out that the shingles vaccine is most effective in those aged from 60 to 69 years old. The effect of the vaccine lasts at least six years but may be effective even longer.

Side Effects of Shingles VaccineA vaccine, just like any medicine entails potential serious adverse effects such as an allergic reaction. However, shingles vaccine most commonly causes mild side effects. They include redness, soreness, swelling or itching at the site of the injection. In some cases, rash similar to chickenpox may develop near the place where the vaccine was injected. Headache is a less common side effect of shingles vaccine and is seen in one in 70 vaccinated individuals. According to certain sources, shingles vaccine may also have side effects like runny nose, fever, chills, diarrhea and body aches.

Shingles vaccine should not be given to people with weak immune system due to cancer treatment, immuno-supressing medications, HIV/AIDS disease, organ transplant, leukemia, lymphoma and other blood or bone cancer. This also applies to those who have had severe allergic reaction to gelatin or antibiotic neomycin and pregnant women.

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