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Vaccination against shingles

What is shingles?

It is a skin rash that, like chickenpox (varicella), is caused by varicella-zoster viruses. Most adults age 50 and older have experienced chickenpox in their lifetime. Viruses nest in the body’s nerve cells. If the immune system becomes weaker - for example in old age - the viruses can become active again.

They then cause a painful, one-sided, strip-shaped skin rash with blisters - shingles (zoster). The painful inflammation of the nerves can last for a long time even after the rash has subsided (post-herpetic neuralgia). If shingles occurs on the face or eyes, corneal scarring can lead to partial or complete blindness. Shingles most commonly affects older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

Shingles is less contagious than chickenpox. Only the fluid in the rash's blisters is infectious. You can only become infected if you have neither had chickenpox nor been vaccinated against chickenpox. An infection then initially causes chickenpox.

Who and when should be vaccinated against shingles?

The STIKO recommends vaccination against shingles (herpes zoster) for everyone aged 60 and over.
There are still groups of people who may need a vaccination.

The inactivated vaccine is vaccinated twice at an interval of at least 2 and a maximum of 6 months.
A booster vaccination is currently being given not recommended.

How is the shingles vaccination carried out and what needs to be taken into account?

The shingles vaccination Vaccination is a dead vaccine. The vaccination is given in your upper arm muscle.

After the vaccination against shingles, the stimulation of the body's own immune system very often causes redness or swelling at the injection site, which can also be painful. General symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, fever or muscle pain can also occur in the first three days after vaccination. There is often itching at the injection site. Occasionally lymph nodes swell or joints hurt. Such vaccination reactions are usually short-lived and subside after one to three days.

What should I do if I think a shingles vaccination makes sense?

To check whether you have vaccination protection, simply make an appointment to check your vaccination status at one of our Avi Medical practices and discuss it Get in touch with our medical team. They will advise you in detail whether you are already protected or whether you should receive a vaccination. The doctors will also check whether there are other vaccinations that would be useful for you and, if necessary, will carry them out directly.