Shingles ( Herpes Zoster) is a condition associated with a painful blistering rash.It is caused by reactivation of the chicken pox virus (Varicella Zoster). Once you have had chicken pox the virus stays in your body within nerve cells. Later in life, often during times of infection or stress the virus can become active again.
It is estimated that the life time risk of getting shingles is around 1 in 3 . Nearly all adults over 50 have the shingles virus dormant in their nervous system,waiting to reactivate with advancing age.
Live attenuated vaccine for adults over 50 years.
Zostavax has been shown to reduce the incidence of shingles by 38%. If shingles does develop, the symptoms are far less severe and the incidence of Post Herpatic Neuralgia drops by 67%. Protection from Zostavax lasts about 5 years.
Single subcutaneous injection.
As Zostavax is a live attenuated vaccine,it should not be given to the following people :
anyone with primary or acquired immunodeficiency status due to a condition or taking immunosuppressive or immunomodulating therapy,
anyone with a previous confirmed anaphylaxis reaction to aprevious dose of varicella containing vaccine or any component of the vaccine,
anyone who is pregnant
The most common side effect affecting 1 in 10 of those receiving the vaccine includes redness,pain,swelling and itching at the injection site
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