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Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8947
Experience:  Twenty years experience in active private practice
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Doc, What do you know about the shingles shot? How safe is

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What do you know about the shingles shot? How safe is it ? What side effects if any ?

Welcome and thank you for your question.

The shingles shot is recommended for all people above the age of 60 years as it can prevent a flare up of the virus. Although the vaccine is also approved for use in people ages 50 to 59 years who have suffered from chicken pox earlier, the CDC (enters for Disease Control and Prevention) isn't recommending the shingles vaccine until you reach age 60.

The pros are :

- It will prevent a new infection as well as prevent a flare up of an infection which is lying dormant in the nerves. the chicken pox virus which causes shingles can remain in the nerve roots for a lifetime, and flare up when the immune response falls due to any reason.

- Since shingles cna not only casue acute ain at the time of infeciton but alos lead to post herpetic neuralgia, a very painful condition which can persist for months and years, it is better to get this vaccine.

Cons :

- The vaccine may not be protective in all cases - some people may still get shingles after getting the vaccine.

- the vaccine can cause a flare up of an underlying infection but this is usually not very severe.

- Because it is a “live” vaccine (it is a weakened version of the chickenpox virus), it cannot be given to patients who have a weakened immune system as a result of medication or infection (such as HIV), or cancer.

Basically, this is a safe vaccine and since you are 50 years old, it will be better to take it .

I hope this helps.

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