Getting a shingles vaccine is the only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles and to lessen the risk of postherpetic neuralgia.
The recombinant zoster vaccine, known as Shingrix, has been approved for use since 2017 in the United States. Sales of an older, live vaccine, Zostavax, were discontinued in July 2020.
The shingles vaccine is recommended for people age 50 and older. Even if you’ve already had shingles, received Zostavax, or aren’t sure whether you ever had chickenpox, you should get vaccinated, per the CDC.right up arrow
Shingrix is given as two shots that are two to six months apart.
How Effective Is the Shingles Vaccine?
In an 18-country study published in 2015 in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that Shingrix was 97.2 percent effective in preventing shingles among those ages 50 and older.right up arrow
In a second study, published in 2016 in The New England Journal of Medicine, the same researchers found that Shingrix had a 91.2 percent effectiveness rate in preventing postherpetic neuralgia in adults ages 50 and older. It was 88.8 percent effective in preventing it in adults age 70 years and older.right up arrow
Out-of-pocket costs for Shingrix may vary. Many private health insurance plans cover the vaccine, but there may be some cost to you depending on which plan you have, per the CDC.right up arrow Medicare Part D (the Medicare prescription drug plan) should cover all or some of the cost.