Shingles is a very painful skin rash caused by a virus. It can also include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. Getting vaccinated against shingles can help protect you from experiencing this severely painful disease.
Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox in the past can get shingles. Children can get shingles, but the risk increases as you get older. Learn more about the shots that are available to prevent this disease.
Shingles (“Herpes Zoster” or “Zoster”) is a painful skin rash that can include skin blisters. Rashes usually appear on one side of the body, last around two to four weeks, and can be very painful. Symptoms can also include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. Sometimes the pain continues even after the rashes go away.
Every year, at least 1 million Americans get shingles.
Shingles is more common in people 50 years of age and older. Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Only people who have had chickenpox or the chickenpox shot (Varivax) can get shingles.
There are currently two shots that protects against shingles: Shingrix and Zostavax. It is recommended to get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months, for all healthy adults 50 years of age and older. If you previously got the Zostavax, it is still recommended to get Shingrix.
For Cal MediConnect and Medi-Cal Members, you can get your shingles shots at your local pharmacy or your doctor’s office.
For L.A. Care Covered and PASC Members, you can get your shingles shots at your doctor’s office.
For Cal MediConnect Members, there is a Tier 2 co-pay for shingles shots at your local pharmacy.
For Medi-Cal Members, there is no co-pay for the shingles shot at your local pharmacy.
For Cal MediConnect, Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered, and PASC Members, if you get your shot at your doctor’s office, you may have an office visit co-pay.
Shingles shots work well, but cannot prevent all cases.
Side effects are not common, but the shot can cause soreness, redness, and/or swelling. It can also cause headache or fever.
People who have severe, life-threatening allergies to a shingles shot or any ingredient in the shot should not get the shingles shot. If you have or had shingles, it is recommended to wait until you are better and no longer have symptoms before getting the shingles shot.
Zostavax is not recommended for people with allergies to gelatin or neomycin. It is also not recommended for pregnant women or people with a weakened immune system. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your allergy.