Is the Shingles Vaccine Safe for Anyone?


Shingles or herpes zoster is a viral infection that is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Its symptoms are bands of bright red rashes that turn into bands of blisters on one side of the body. The rashes and blisters are very painful and can cause scarring on the skin.

Complications Associated with Not Treating Shingles

If shingles is not treated properly it can leave the skin where blisters once were scarred, sensitive to the slightest touch and still very painful. This causes the nerves to send confused signals to the brain about the pain, which leaves persistent pain. Other complications include, if shingles are on the face can lead to hearing problems and blindness. Neurological problems have also been known to occur due to shingles; inflammation of the brain has been reported.


There are two different vaccines that can prevent shingles. The chickenpox vaccine, called Varivax and the shingles vaccine, called Zostavax. It is important to note that neither can be used to treat the conditions once the viruses are prevalent.

Chickenpox Vaccine

Currently, most young children receive the chickenpox vaccine with regular immunizations between the ages of twelve to eighteen months. Although the vaccine can reduce the severity and complications of chickenpox, it does not completely prevent it either chickenpox and/or shingles. It is not 100 percent effective toward the two conditions. It is also somewhat risky when giving a vaccination to a small child because of the side effects that can follow.

Shingles Vaccine

The shingles vaccine is mainly given to adults over the age of 60 to reduce the symptoms and severity of shingles if it is contracted. It is similar to the chickenpox vaccine that it does not guarantee to prevent shingles altogether.

The Vaccinations are not for

The chickenpox and shingles vaccines are not recommended for people with any of the following:

  • Those who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any of the components that vaccine is made of. This includes gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin.
  • Weakened immune systems, due to other conditions or diseases that have an affect on the immune system.
  • Those who have had chemotherapy or radiation treatments for other diseases.
  • History of lymphatic or bone cancers.
  • Have active tuberculosis that is untreated.
  • Pregnant women or women who may become pregnant. Women who get the vaccine should wait three months to get pregnant.

Some of the factors that do not allow people to get either of the vaccines are reasons that shingles is most likely to attack.

Natural Solutions

Natural solutions may be worth considering due to the same chance of effectiveness. The vaccines are risky and are known to have a side effect of causing allergic reactions. Since the vaccines are not 100 percent effective in treating the disease and they are not right for everyone (the shingles vaccine is mainly given to people ages 60 and over), trying a natural solution may be the best answer for preventing the virus, especially if under the age of 60. It is best to know the possible solutions before making a decision about what is right to fight against the shingles virus.


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