(HealthDay News) -- The Zostavax vaccine helps protect against
shingles, a painful infection caused by herpes zoster, the same
virus that causes chickenpox.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these
guidelines for getting the shingles vaccine:
Who should get the vaccine:
- Anyone who is 60 or older, whether or not they can recall
having had chickenpox as a child. Researchers have found that more
than 99 percent of Americans 40 and older have had chickenpox, even
if they don't remember being sick.
Who should NOT get the vaccine:
- Anyone who has ever had a serious reaction to gelatin, the
antibiotic neomycin, or any other ingredient in the shingles
vaccine. Speak with your doctor if you have any severe
- Anyone with a weakened immune system should speak with their
doctor before getting the vaccine.
- Anyone taking immune-suppressing drugs or undergoing
chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer.
- Any woman who is pregnant or could be pregnant.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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