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Shingles vaccine (Shingrix)

Learn about the Shingrix vaccine, effectiveness, side effects, and safety.

Disease it protects from

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.

Who should get this vaccine

If you are age 18 years and older and you’ve had or are going to have an organ transplant, or you have had a stem cell transplant or CAR T-cell therapy (a type of cancer treatment), you may be able to get this vaccine for free. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you can get this vaccine for free.

If you are age 50 years and older but cannot get this vaccine for free, you can still get this vaccine, but you need to pay for it.

You can get the Shingrix vaccine even if you:

  • had shingles in the past
  • are not sure if you had chickenpox

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.

Who should not get this vaccine

You may not be able to get this vaccine if:

  • You have an allergy to any part of the vaccine.
  • You had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You have shingles or had shingles in the last year.
  • You had the Zostavax vaccine in the last year.

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.

Other vaccines that protect against the same disease

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.

Get the vaccine

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.

Current as of: February 1, 2024
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.