What is it?

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is a painful rash disease. Shingles can lead to severe nerve pain called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) that can last for months or years after the rash goes away. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox.*

Why is it important?

If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you can get shingles. Almost 1 out of 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. You can get shingles at any age, but it’s more common (and more likely to be severe) in older adults.*

Who should get the vaccine and how often?

The CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years of age and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine, called Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine), separated by 2-6 months.*

What types of vaccine are there?

There are two shingles vaccines. Shingrix is the preferred vaccine, over Zostavax® (zoster vaccine live), a shingles vaccine in use since 2006. Zostavax may still be used to prevent shingles in healthy adults aged 60 years and older. For example, you could use Zostavax if a person is allergic to Shingrix, prefers Zostavax, or requests immediate vaccination and Shingrix is unavailable.*

*Information on this page was referenced from

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