Shingles Vaccine Side Effects-Are You Safe?

shingles vaccine side effects

If you had chicken pox as a child, your doctor might recommend you get vaccinated for Shingles. This is especially true if you are over age 50. Yet you should be aware of the shingles vaccine side effects.


Zostavax is the name of the Shingles vaccine. It was originally approved on May 26, 2006, for the prevention of shingles. Zostavax is manufactured by Merck & Co., of New Jersey.

Approximately 200,000 people between ages 50-59 are affected by shingles each year in the U.S. The disease is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is a virus in the herpes family. It is the same virus that causes chickenpox. As a result, after the chickenpox, the virus lies dormant in certain nerves in the body. For unknown reasons, the virus can reappear later in life in the form of shingles. Yet, the reappearance is more common in people with a weak immune system.

FDA Reports

According to the FDA, Zostavax vaccine reduced the risk of developing shingles by approximately 70 percent. Furthermore, it is also reported to reduce the severity of symptoms, and lower the pain which can sometimes be severe. Shingles is a rash of blisters, which develop in a band on one side of the body. Also, it can cause severe pain that may last for weeks after the episode.

Once the virus activates, Zostavax is not used for the treatment of shingles or the pain associated with it. For that, there are many natural remedies for shingles that can be effective in relieving and reducing symptoms.

Cost $

The vaccine is somewhat expensive – typically between $150-200.

It is administered by a doctor as an injection under the skin of the upper arm.

Most Common Shingles Vaccine Side Effects

Despite the benefits of taking the vaccine for prevention, like any other pharmaceutical, it can cause side effects. Yet, they are generally mild, and the shingles vaccine side effects are low.

Skin rash

Joint and muscles pain
Flu symptoms
Sore throat
Swollen glands
Breathing problems
Itching-reaction at the injection site

In addition, there is a small chance of a severe allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine. Yet, the risk of having a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine is only around 1 in 900,000.

Keep Your Immune System Healthy

Finally, shingles is a virus that can strike when your immune system is not functioning well. Therefore, natural remedies for shingles can be effective and they can help to ease discomfort and speed your healing process. According to the National Institutes of Health, shingles virus rarely returns.

Please leave me your thoughts, questions, comments or opinions in the comment section below. I'll be sure to get back within “hours” most of the time.

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Written by Jackie Parker


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  1. Hi There,

    I stopped by your site and I must say it has a fantastic layout with quality content. There is a person close to me that had shingles and it was no fun for her. I also took a look at your Health and Healing courses. It is great to see something like this.


  2. I know a few people who have had shingles and they were miserable. I like the natural remedies for shingles and will actually pass the information along to someone I know who currently has shingles.

    Is the shingles vaccine safe for someone with an autoimmune disease? Is boosting the immune system the only way to naturally prevent shingles?

  3. Wow what an interesting article – although I have never been affected by shingles, I have always wondered what it was and whether the vaccine protections were safe. I have had chicken pox but never had any shingles vaccines and judging by the side effects, its a good thing after reading your article

  4. Hey Jackie…

    I read your post with interest. A couple of my friends have been suffering with this problem for years now, trying this, that, and the other with apparently very little success. I will pass on your thoughts to them. Perhaps they will be helped by it.

    I especially like that you are including natural remedies that can help as well.

    I do like your site set-up…clear, clean and easy to navigate and understand. Good job!

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