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Health Tip: Getting the Shingles Vaccine

Health Tip: Getting the Shingles Vaccine

10/05/11

(HealthDay News) -- The Zostavax vaccine helps protect against shingles, a painful infection caused by herpes zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these guidelines for getting the shingles vaccine:

Who should get the vaccine:

  • Anyone who is 60 or older, whether or not they can recall having had chickenpox as a child. Researchers have found that more than 99 percent of Americans 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they don't remember being sick.

Who should NOT get the vaccine:

  • Anyone who has ever had a serious reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other ingredient in the shingles vaccine. Speak with your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system should speak with their doctor before getting the vaccine.
  • Anyone taking immune-suppressing drugs or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
  • Any woman who is pregnant or could be pregnant.
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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