CityMD urgent care doctor administering shingles vaccine to a patient

What to know about the shingles vaccine

Are you considering getting the shingles vaccine? At CityMD we are here to help you understand what the shingles vaccine is all about and what you should know before getting it.

We'll cover everything you need to know about the shingles vaccine, from its benefits and side effects to how it works and who should get it.

So, let's get started.

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It's caused by the same virus that triggers chickenpox. If you've had chickenpox before, you risk developing shingles later in life. The rash typically appears as a band or strip on one side of the body. This rash can cause itching, burning, or tingling sensations.

Although shingles can be uncomfortable and painful, it's usually not life-threatening, and you can treat the virus with antiviral medications and pain relievers.


The shingles vaccine: fast facts

Here's what you need to know about the shingles vaccine.

  1. The shingles vaccine, also known as the zoster vaccine, is recommended for adults 50 years and older to help protect against shingles and its associated complications.
  2. The vaccine is made from a weakened varicella-zoster virus, which stimulates the immune system to produce a protective response.
  3. The vaccine is not 100% effective, but it can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing shingles and help reduce the severity and duration of the illness if it does occur.
  4. The vaccine provides protection against shingles for at least five years after receiving the vaccine.


When do I need the shingles vaccine?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the shingles vaccine is recommended for adults aged 50 years and older, regardless of whether they have had shingles before.

However, it's always best to consult your healthcare provider to determine if the shingles vaccine is appropriate for you based on your health status and medical history.


Should I get the shingles vaccine before 50?

The shingles vaccine is recommended for adults 50 years and older, as this is the most at-risk group for developing shingles. However, in certain situations, the shingles vaccine may be recommended for individuals under 50.

For example, adults between the ages of 18 and 49 who have a weakened immune system due to certain medical conditions or treatments may be recommended to get the shingles vaccine.

Additionally, adults who have previously had shingles may be recommended to get the vaccine to help prevent a recurrence of the disease.


Shingles vaccine side effects

Like any vaccine, the shingles vaccine can cause some side effects. However, most side effects are mild and go away on their own within a few days. In rare cases, the vaccine can cause more severe side effects, such as an allergic reaction.

Some common side effects of the shingles vaccine include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, rapid heartbeat, or dizziness. If you experience these symptoms after receiving the vaccine, seek medical attention immediately at your local CityMD urgent care.

Remember that the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risk of developing serious side effects.


Get the shingles vaccine at CityMD

At CityMD, we are committed to helping our patients stay healthy and protected against preventable illnesses. Getting the shingles vaccine is essential in protecting yourself against the development of shingles and its associated complications.

Your health insurance should cover the Shingles vaccine, but it is always best to reach out and ask ahead of time. You may have a copay. If you are not covered, there is a charge of $265 for each shot. Patients with Medicare should inquire about being vaccinated at their pharmacy.

Our experienced team can answer any questions about the vaccine and help you determine if it's right for you. CityMD offers the shingles vaccine at all of our urgent care locations, making it easy and convenient to get vaccinated whenever it’s convenient for you.

Meet with a doctor virtually or in-person at any of our walk-in locations. Don't let shingles disrupt your life – visit CityMD today and stay protected.

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