Why The Shingles Vaccine Is Both Safe And Effective

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a commonly contracted virus which causes both chickenpox and shingles. In 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a common shingles vaccine.

Many parents and families have questions about whether or not the shingles vaccine is safe and effective both for young children and for those with weakened immune systems such as elderly parents or those with immuno-suppressant diseases.

The shingles vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus, so weak that even an immuno-compromised individual or child can fight it and cannot pass it on to others. Having this weakened form of the virus in one’s system means that if a strong version of the virus is contracted, it will be attacked by the body and no shingles will result.

A single dose of the shingles vaccine is all that is needed for it to be effective. While it will not ease the pain if someone is already infected – weeping, painful skin legions are the typical signs of shingles – it will prevent any future outbreaks of the disease.

The FDA continues to monitor the use of the shingles vaccine, but has thus far determined it to be both safe and effective.


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