Clinical guidance

You’re due for the shingles vaccine

Published January 1, 2022

Why should I get the shingles vaccine?

Getting the shingles vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against shingles and long-term complications from shingles. The vaccine is more than 95% effective at preventing shingles.

Shingles is a painful, usually itchy, rash that typically develops on one side of the face or body. People who get shingles may also experience fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach. Long-term nerve pain is the most common complication of shingles.

What do I need to know about the shingles vaccine?

There is only one shingles vaccine, called Shingrix, available at this time. Adults 50 years and older need two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months.

When should I get the shingles vaccine?

You can get the shingles vaccine any time, but it’s important to get the second dose 2 to 6 months after the first. You only need to get the two-dose shingles vaccine once in your life.

Where can I get the shingles vaccine?

The shingles vaccine is widely available (you don’t even need a prescription or provider’s order). Your best bet is to get it at a pharmacy near you.

Are there any side effects to getting the shingles vaccine?

Some people experience side effects, like pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, fever, feeling tired, a headache, and nausea. Any side effects are usually mild and temporary, especially when compared to symptoms of shingles.