a. Shingles vaccine
The varicella-zoster vaccine (Zostavax) helps to prevent shingles in adults 60 years or older, who have had an attack of chickenpox. The vaccine, given as a single shot in the upper arm, does not guarantee that you will be saved from shingles but it hopes to reduce the severity of the disease and decrease an individual’s risk of post herpetic neuralgia. It does not form the part of a treatment for individuals who are already affected.
Common side effects of the vaccine include-
- Swelling at the injection site,
This vaccine is not recommended in case of
- Allergy to any component of the vaccine
- Associated disease such as HIV/AIDS that compromises the immune system
- Any abnormality of the bone marrow
- Treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or those involving steroids
- Uncontrolled Tuberculosis
The varicella virus vaccine (Varivax) is part of the routine childhood immunization programmes to prevent the onset of chickenpox. This vaccine is recommended for children between the ages of 12- 18 months. It is also recommended for older children and adults who have never had a bout of chickenpox.
This vaccine does not completely safeguard against chickenpox or shingles but it can reduce the severity and chances of complications when the disease occurs.