WVU Health Report: Shingles Vaccine - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

WVU Health Report: Shingles Vaccine

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MORGANTOWN, WV -

Vaccines aren't just important for children. Certain vaccinations are given later in life and can prevent uncomfortable and harmful diseases for adults. Almost 1 million Americans will experience Shingles this year.

Shingles is a painful skin rash that occurs typically over one side of the body and oftentimes occurs with blisters. People over the age of 60 are at a higher risk for developing shingles and anyone who has ever had chicken pox in their life is at risk. "Shingles can lead to complications including eye problems and continued nerve pain after the disease has run its course," said Gretchen Garafoli, Pharm.D., WVU School of Pharmacy.

The vaccine is about 50 percent effective of preventing Shingles in a patient. But many times those who do develop shingles after receiving the vaccine develop a much milder case. They don't have the severe nerve pain that sometimes patients will complain about after the shingles rash is cleared up.

Anyone with immune system problems should avoid getting the vaccine. Those over the age of 60 is recommended to get the vaccine one time in their life. "They should not get the vaccine if they've ever had an allergic reaction, and by allergic reaction I mean a severe allergic reaction to gelatin, neomycin, or any other component to the Shingles vaccine," according to Garafoli.

The only way to reduce the risk of Shingles is to get vaccinated. If you experience pain or irritation at the injection site or develop a high fever you should contact your doctor.