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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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PREVENTIVE CARE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

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Why is it recommended for older adults to consider taking Recombinant Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine (RZV) vaccination?

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

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. Protecting against this ailment is crucial, and one effective way to do so is by getting vaccinated with the Recombinant Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine (RZV). 

Vaccination: 

The RZV vaccine is specifically designed to prevent shingles in older adults. By stimulating the body’s immune response against the varicella-zoster virus, the vaccine significantly reduces the risk of developing shingles and its associated complications, such as chronic pain (postherpetic neuralgia).

Not getting vaccinated leaves older adults vulnerable to shingles, which can cause intense pain, discomfort, and potentially long-lasting complications. According to the Indian Journal of Dermatology, shingles prevalence increases with age, highlighting the need for proactive preventive measures.

Getting the RZV vaccine is straightforward and can be administered by healthcare professionals. It is typically given as two separate doses, with a gap of two to six months between them. Following the recommended vaccination schedule is essential to ensure optimal protection against shingles.

While the RZV vaccine is generally safe, it may cause some mild side effects, such as soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site, as well as headache, fatigue, or muscle pain. Serious side effects are rare and are outweighed by the benefits of vaccination in preventing shingles and its complications.

References: Indian Journal of Dermatology. (2015). Epidemiology and treatment of herpes zoster: A retrospective survey in south India. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318602/

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