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Little bit of info about the Shingles Vaccine I found

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

Which people should not get shingles vaccine or should wait?

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A person should not get shingles vaccine who:

  • has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.

  • has a weakened immune system because of AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system; treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as prolonged use of high-dose steroids; cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy; cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.

  • is pregnant, or might be pregnant. Women should not become pregnant until at least 4 weeks after getting shingles vaccine.


Someone with a minor illness, such as a cold, may be vaccinated. But anyone with a moderate or severe illness should usually wait until they recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3 °F (38.5 °C) or higher.(http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a607025.html)

Gov. website doesn't say WHY it isn't insurance approved for people under 50. However, I did some digging and found this reason. Whether or not the site is totally credible, I don't know but here is one reason I found, It is from a website where someone who is 59  was asking about why people under 50 can't get the vaccination. Here is the doctor's reply in two parts (http://www.justanswer.com/medical/4fn9m-can-t-shingles-vaccine-age-60-several.html):

Hello,The reason for it not being recommended for use in people under 60 years of age is

1. Out of the total number of people suffering from shingles 50 % or more are of gae greater than 60
2. And the safety and its effects were only studied in people of age greater than 60

So if you try it before this age than it would be on your own risk & is definitely not recommended.
Hope this answered your Question R



Second part:

Ok let me explain it this way
When ever a new drug, Vaccine or treatment is started there are trials for it much before its launch and these trials are meant for the safety of people that are going to use it in the future.

Its safety is not documented at your age group.

So if you press your MD to give it to you and he does and some unforeseen complication comes up then not only will you suffer but so would the MD, as for him he may loose his license for having performed a procedure (administration of the vaccine) that was not recommended for his patient (you)

Hope this helped

Here is a link to an NPR segment on the vaccine: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/132935345/few-opt-for-vaccine-to-prevent-painful-shingles

 Here is something from the CDC from 2011 (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/hcp-vaccination.htm) and states "

Vaccination of persons age 50 through 59 years

In 2011, FDA expanded the age indication for Zostavax® to include adults 50 through 59 years old for preventing herpes zoster. This decision was based on a large study showing that the vaccine reduced the risk of herpes zoster by approximately 70 percent.

For persons age 50 through 59 years, the risk of getting shingles and having prolonged pain after shingles is much lower than for people 60 years and older. In the past several years, there have been shortages and delays in getting Zostavax®. Based on such considerations, ACIP is not issuing a recommendation for routine use of zoster vaccine in adults 50 through 59 years at this time. However, health care providers can still offer herpes zoster vaccine to patients 50 through 59 years. Health care providers may want to first consider whether the patient would have poor tolerance to herpes zoster or postherpetic neuralgia symptoms. For example, if the patient has

  • preexisting chronic pain, severe depression, or other co-morbidities
  • intolerance to treatment medications due to hypersensitivity or interactions with other medications
  • extenuating employment-related factors

No data are available about the effectiveness of zoster vaccine in adults who become immunosuppressed after their vaccination."

Basically it sounds to me like the vaccine is very expensive. I found one quote that it is around $162 U.S. per shot. I really can't find a clear reason why younger people can't get the shot other than the quotes by "Dr. Mask"

I did find it interesting and very important as to who should NOT get the shot.

I hope this helps.

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

Good info.  Thank you.




Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2802
Joined: Jun 2010

I had shingles about 5 years ago (before cancer).  Since you can get it a second time, I asked my pcp if I should get the vaccine.  She said there was no data to support whether it prevents a second occurance or not, but I could have it if I wanted it.  I declined.  I just better not get them again!


DebbyM's picture
Posts: 3293
Joined: Oct 2009

From what little I know, I think you only get the shingles vaccine once Suzanne and they recommend it after 60.


RE's picture
Posts: 4644
Joined: Feb 2004

Thanks for all the great information, my husband had shingles on his face and eyelid last year it was quite painful.  I did not realize you could get it more than once.  Again thank you!


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