Zostavax is the shingles vaccine. In America it is recommended for adults aged 60 and above.
It doesn’t mater whether you have had shingles before, or whether you haven’t.
Zostavax is a live vaccine given as a one-off injection. The Clinical results for the vaccine were modest to say the least and in truth having the vaccination is no guarantee you will not get the disease. In research it seemed to reduced the length of time people had the disease and also its severity.
As Harvard Health says ‘Vaccinations aren’t kids stuff anymore’ and this vaccination (despite Government health bodies ‘Pro-stance’, needs some serious thought.
Do you need it? Well, there is quite a lot of evidence that you are unlikely to get an attack if you have a strong immune system. In particular strong T-cells (the ones that come out to attack rogue cells) are important. These are known to need a vitamin D molecule to activate them before they can attack, so ensuring you spend some healthy time in the sun seems important.
Side effects include possible rashes, redness, tenderness and swelling/itching at the injection site.
It’s not for you if you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system for any reason, are having treatment involving other drugs, or have a history of allergic reaction.