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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What are the differences between a Shingles vaccine and a Varicella vaccine?

Answered by
Dr. Pradeep Kumar

Pediatrician, Cardiology

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 1945 Questions

Posted on Wed, 21 Oct 2015 in Vaccinations
Question: Are the shingles vaccine and varicella vaccine the same thing? I had a varicella vaccine for employment in a pediatric office at the age of 54 and am wondering if I should get a shingles vaccine now at age 62.
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Considering the burden of disease,shingles vaccine should be taken

Detailed Answer:

I can understand your concern.You are partially right, as per recommendation of Center for disease control(CDC)guideline HZV/shingles vaccine is not recommended for persons ≥60 years who have received the varicella vaccine.
But here it is said that > 60 years of age who have received varicella vaccine(you have received at age of 54 years).
Again it is also mentioned in the guideline that It is not necessary to check varicella/varicella vaccination history or titers before administering HZV.
This means that the disease burden is so high in people aged >60 years that irrespective of previous history of disease and vaccination and even when the antibodies levels in the blood is sufficient to protect from the disease,shingles vaccine should be given.
For complete immunisation against varicella,two doses must be administered(I would like to know if you have received one or two dosage at 54).
Again although the zoster/shingles vaccine contains the same strain as in varicella,it is 14 times more potent.There is no significant side effect of vaccination but it prevents against the severe shingles disease.
So considering all these factor I would suggest you to go for the shingles vaccine.

I hope this helps.
Please let me know if you have any more query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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