Shingles - Prevention
Anyone who has had chickenpox may get
shingles later in life. But there's a vaccine that may
help prevent shingles or make it less painful if you do get it. The
shingles vaccine(What is a PDF document?) is known as Zostavax. It is recommended for adults ages 60 and older, whether or not they've had shingles before. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist about getting the vaccine at age 50 to 59 instead. But insurance may not cover it.
- Shingles: Should I Get a Shot to Prevent Shingles?
If you have never had
chickenpox, you may avoid getting the virus that
causes both chickenpox and later shingles by receiving the
have never had chickenpox and have never gotten the chickenpox vaccine, avoid
contact with people who have shingles or chickenpox. Fluid from shingles
blisters is contagious and can cause chickenpox (but not
shingles) in people who have never had chickenpox and who have never gotten the
If you have shingles, avoid close contact
with people until after the
rash blisters heal. It is especially important to
avoid contact with people who are at special risk from chickenpox,
- Pregnant women, infants, children, or anyone
who has never had chickenpox.
- Anyone who is currently
- Anyone with a weak
immune system who is unable to fight infection (such
as someone with
HIV infection or
If you cover the shingles sores with a type of dressing
that absorbs fluid and protects the sores, you can help prevent the spread of
the virus to other people.