A shingles vaccine may help prevent shingles.

People looking to receive the shingles vaccine have two options: Shingrix and Zostavax.

  • Shingrix is approved and recommended for people age 50 and older, including those who've previously received Zostavax or had shingles.

  • Zostavax has been shown to offer protection against shingles for about five years. It's a live vaccine given as a single injection, usually in the upper arm. Zostavax is recommended for people age 60 and older. While it is no longer being sold in the U.S. as of July 2020, other countries may still use it.

The most common side effects of either shingles vaccine are redness, pain, tenderness, swelling and itching at the injection site, and headaches.

The shingles vaccine doesn't guarantee that you won't get shingles. But this vaccine will likely reduce the course and severity of the disease and reduce your risk of postherpetic neuralgia.

The shingles vaccine is used only as a prevention strategy. It's not intended to treat people who currently have the disease. Talk to your doctor about which option is right for you.

Page Last Updated: 30/01/2021