Alberta Health Services
The Shingrix vaccine helps prevent you from developing herpes zoster, also known as shingles.
This vaccine is not a treatment for shingles or shingles nerve pain (post-herpetic neuralgia). It does not prevent chickenpox.
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, and it 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.
Talk to your healthcare provider to decide if this vaccine is right for you.
You may not be able to get this vaccine if:
If you have allergies or have had a side effect from this vaccine in the past, check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.
Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others.
You need 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine. You get the second dose 2 to 6 months after the first dose. You need both doses to make sure you have long-lasting protection against shingles.
At this time, booster (extra) doses aren’t recommended. Research is ongoing to find out if you will need a booster dose.
Zostavax is another type of vaccine that protects against shingles. It provides less protection against shingles than the Shingrix vaccine.
You can get the Shingrix vaccine if you had the Zostavax vaccine, but you need to wait at least 1 year.
If you can get the Shingrix vaccine for free, you can contact your local public health or community health centre.
If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a private immunization clinic. You can also ask your doctor or pharmacist if they sell the vaccine.
If you are healthy and get both doses, the protection against shingles is about 90%. Protection lasts at least 4 years.
You are also less likely to have long-term pain if you still get Shingles.
Vaccine safety is a top priority. Canada uses extremely safe vaccines. Learn more about vaccine safety in Canada, including how vaccines are monitored for continued safety, and ingredients in vaccines.
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:
At least 1 out of 100 people who got this vaccine reported 1 or more of these side effects. In some cases, it is unknown if the vaccine caused these side effects.
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.
There can be mild, short-term side effects after getting a vaccine. Find tips to manage these side effects at home.