Yes … for most people.
Those taking the shingles vaccine have not reported any serious side effects or health consequences. Some have reported minor side effects including redness, soreness, swelling, or itching at the shot site, and headache.
It is safe for those who have received the shingles vaccine to be around babies or those with weakened immune systems.
Don’t get caught up on the “urban legends” that vaccines cause the disease they are trying to prevent.
It has not been demonstrated that a person can develop chickenpox from getting the shingles vaccine, although some people who receive the vaccine may develop a mild chickenpox-like rash near the injection site. This rash should be kept covered and will disappear on its own.
Since the chickenpox vaccine is now recommended for children, the incidence of chickenpox has been reduced. This is also expected to reduce the incidence of shingles in adults in the future as these vaccinated children age.
In addition, the USCDC says:
The shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) was recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2006 to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated pain in people age 60 years and older.
Your risk for developing shingles increases as you age. The Shingles Prevention Study involved individuals age 60 years and older and found the shingles vaccine significantly reduced disease in this age group. The vaccine is currently recommended for persons 60 years of age and older. Even people who have had shingles can receive the vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.
Shingles vaccine is available in pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about shingles vaccine.
At this time, CDC does not have a recommendation for routine use of shingles vaccine in persons 50 through 59 years old. However, the vaccine is approved by FDA for people in this age group.
Who should NOT get the vaccine:
- A person who has ever had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine. Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies.
- A person who has a weakened immune system because of
- HIV/AIDS or another disease that affects the immune system,
- treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids,
- cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy,
- cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
- Women who are or might be pregnant