What are the Pros and Cons of Shingles Vaccination Shot?

The same virus that causes chickenpox causes shingles. It is a very painful condition and many patients who suffer from it experience debilitating nerve pain. The chances of getting shingles increases with age and it is most common with patients who are 50 years or older, but it can also occur at any age.

Each year there is an estimated 1 Million new cases of shingles in the US alone.

The vaccine protects against the Herpes Zoster virus. It has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and the Center for Disease Control recommends the one-time shingles vaccine for people 60 years old and older, even if they have had a previous shingles infection.

Shingles Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain

  • Numbness, tingling sensation

  • Red rash that starts a few days after the pain

  • Blisters on the skin that is similar to chickenpox

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Achiness

  • Fatigue

Shingles Shot Cost

Most insurance plans do not cover the one-time shingles shot except for those plans with specifications for prescription drugs.

The cost is going to vary from one provider to another.

The vaccine is recommended for people who are:

  • 50 years or older

  • Have had a history of chickenpox, those who have not had the chickenpox should have the chickenpox vaccine first.

Side Effects of the Shingles Vaccine

  • Soreness on injection site

  • Redness on injection site

  • Itching on injection site

  • Headache

Shingles Shot Pros and Cons

The pros and cons of a shingles vaccine are as follows.


  • It protects against the Herpes Zoster Virus keeping patients form the pain and discomfort of a shingles infection.

  • It is a one-time shot, no follow up shots necessary.

  • The side effects of the vaccine are minor.

  • It creates a greatly reduced chance of getting the infection.


  • Getting the shot is no guarantee that no infection will occur. Some people who get it still end up with an infection. Roughly 50% of those who get vaccinated can still get the infection.

  • The long-term effects are not yet known.

  • Most insurance plans won’t cover the cost of vaccination.

The Shingles Vaccine is not for everybody, those who should not be taking it include:

  • People who have weakened immune systems, this includes those with autoimmune diseases and those who are undergoing chemotherapy.

  • Patients with a history of cancer, particularly cancer that affects the bone marrow

  • Patients who have tuberculosis

  • Pregnant Women

  • Moderately ill individuals. A vaccination may be given to patients who have a slight cold.

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