Immunization protects you from disease.Get protected, get immunized.
The Shingrix vaccine prevents you from developing herpes zoster, also known as shingles.
This vaccine doesn’t prevent chickenpox and it’s not a treatment for shingles or shingles nerve pain (post-herpetic neuralgia).
Who should get the Shingrix vaccine?If you are age 18 years and older and you’ve had or are going to have an organ transplant, you should get this vaccine. In this case the vaccine is free.
If you are age 50 years and older and you’re not having an organ transplant, you can get this vaccine, but you need to pay for it.
You can get the Shingrix vaccine even if you:
You need to wait 1 year after having shingles before you get the shingles vaccine.
The Shingrix vaccine is only licensed for people age 50 years and older, but vaccine experts agree that younger people who have had or are going to have an organ transplant should get it (this is also called off-label use). Talk to you healthcare provider to decide if this vaccine is right for you.
At this time, booster (extra) doses aren’t recommended. Research is ongoing to find out if you will need a booster dose.
If you are healthy and get both doses, the protection against shingles is about 90%. Protection lasts at least 4 years.
If you can get the Shingrix vaccine for free, you can contact a public health office in your area.
If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a private immunization clinic. You can also talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if they sell the vaccine.
There can be side effects from the Shingrix vaccine. They tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:
It is important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you'll get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It's rare to have a serious side effect after a vaccine. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
You may not be able to get this vaccine if you:
You can still have the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever. Always tell your healthcare provider if you have allergies or if you’ve had a side effect from a vaccine in the past.
Check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.
What is shingles?
How do you get shingles?
If you had chickenpox disease in the past, you can develop shingles. The virus stays in the nerve cells in your body. It can stay there for many years and not cause a problem. But for some people the virus can become active again and cause shingles, especially if you have a weak immune system or are older.
Who is most at risk?
Current as of: September 1, 2021
Author: Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
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