Zostavax - What You Need to Know
If you've ever had chickenpox, you could get Shingles now.
The same virus that causes chickenpox also causes Shingles. The virus stays in your body and can later resurface as Shingles—a painful, blistering rash.
Help prevent Shingles with ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live), the Shingles vaccine.
ZOSTAVAX ("ZOS-tah-vax") is not a treatment for Shingles—it's a vaccine you can get now to help reduce your risk of getting Shingles in the future. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that appropriate adults 60 or older get vaccinated to help prevent Shingles.
ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live) works by helping your immune system keep the Shingles virus in check.
The sooner you get vaccinated, the better your chances of protecting yourself from Shingles.
ZOSTAVAX is given as a single shot. ZOSTAVAX cannot be used to treat Shingles, or the nerve pain that may follow Shingles, once you have it. Talk to your health care professional to see if ZOSTAVAX is right for you.
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ZOSTAVAX is a vaccine used for adults 50 years of age or older to prevent Shingles (also known as zoster).
Important Safety Information
- ZOSTAVAX does not protect everyone, so some people who get the vaccine may still get Shingles.
- You should not get ZOSTAVAX if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, including gelatin or neomycin, have a weakened immune system, take high doses of steroids, or are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not get ZOSTAVAX to prevent chickenpox.
- Talk to your health care professional if you plan to get ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live) at the same time as PNEUMOVAX®23 (Pneumococcal Vaccine Polyvalent) because it may be better to get these vaccines at least 4 weeks apart.
- Possible side effects include redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth, or bruising at the injection site, as well as headache.
- ZOSTAVAX (Zoster Vaccine Live) contains a weakened chickenpox virus. Tell your health care professional if you will be in close contact with newborn infants, someone who may be pregnant and has not had chickenpox or been vaccinated against chickenpox, or someone who has problems with their immune system.
- Your health care professional can tell you what situations you may need to avoid.