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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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Are there any side effects of the shingles vaccine that seniors should be aware of?

Written By Samarth Staff | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Anup Bagchi, MBBS, Geriatric specialist

The shingles vaccine, also known as the herpes zoster vaccine, is generally safe for most seniors. However, like any vaccine, it can cause side effects in some individuals. The most common side effects of the shingles vaccine include: Pain, Redness, or Swelling at the Injection Site: Mild pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site is common after receiving the shingles vaccine. These symptoms usually resolve on their own within a few days.
Headache:
Some individuals may experience a mild headache after receiving the shingles vaccine.
Fatigue:
Fatigue or tiredness is another common side effect reported by some individuals.
Muscle Pain:
Muscle pain or soreness may occur, particularly in the arm where the vaccine was administered.
Fever:
A low-grade fever is a rare side effect of the shingles vaccine. It’s important to note that serious side effects from the shingles vaccine are very rare. However, individuals who experience severe allergic reactions (such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, or a rapid heartbeat) should seek immediate medical attention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the shingles vaccine is safe and effective for most people. Clinical trials have shown that the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a painful complication of shingles, in older adults.

Seniors should discuss any concerns or medical conditions with their healthcare provider before receiving the shingles vaccine. Overall, the benefits of vaccination in preventing shingles and its complications outweigh the potential risks of side effects for most individuals.
References:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Shingles Vaccination: What You Need to Know. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html

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