Flu And Shingles Vaccines: What You Need To Know
Flu causes fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle aches, and tiredness
Shingles causes a painful rash with blisters
Some people develop serious complications, such as pneumonia
Some people have long-lasting skin and nerve pain even after the rash clears up
70 to 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in those ages 65 and older
The risk of getting shingles and having complications rises as you get older
Flu shots reduce flu-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths
A newer form of the vaccine, called Shingrix, is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles
Adults ages 50 and older, even if you already had shingles before
Once every year, ideally by late October
When to Get It
Two doses, given two to six months apart*
*Shingrix is in high demand. This has led to shortages at times. Call ahead to see if its in stock. Put your name on a list if theres a wait.
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Use In People With A History Of Herpes Zoster
People with a history of herpes zoster were excluded from the Shingles Prevention Study , so there are no data on vaccine efficacy in this group.
One small clinical trial studied the safety and immunogenicity of Zostavax in people with a history of herpes zoster. Zostavax was well tolerated and immunogenic.59
Are The Side Effects Of The Second Shingrix Shot As Bad As The First
Theres no relationship between how your body responds to the first and second dose of Shingrix. For example, some people have side effects with both doses, while others dont experience any side effects at all.
Its also possible to have side effects after either the first or second dose only. But you can expect to at least have some arm pain after both vaccine doses.
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You Should Aim To Get Your Flu Shot In Early Fall
Its not possible to plan your flu shot timing around when you might get a COVID booster yet. Thats because even though booster doses have been recommended by the Biden administration, they havent yet been authorized by the FDA. Still, they could start rolling out in a matter of weeks to people who are eight months out from their last dose.
In general, September and October are the ideal times to get a flu vaccine. Experts always emphasize that its absolutely still worth getting a shot later in the fall or winter, because flu season can peak in March and last until the spring.
I would say its always better to get the flu shot earlier, no matter the season, Minges said. He added that one byproduct of the minimal influenza activity around the world last year is that experts have less information than usual to decide which specific flu viruses to include in this years vaccine.
But thats not a reason to avoid getting the flu shot. And besides, theres no way to know how bad this years flu season will be.
The best defense against influenza and COVID-19 is vaccination, number one, Clark said. And safe social distance, wearing masks, frequent hand washing, not going to school or work when youre sick are all things we can continue to do to protect ourselves.
How Do I Get The Shingles Vaccination
Once you become eligible for the shingles vaccination, a GP or practice nurse will offer you the vaccine when you attend the surgery for general reasons.
You can have a shingles vaccine at the same time as most other vaccines. But try to leave 7 days between the shingles vaccine and a coronavirus vaccine, so that if you have any side effects you’ll know which vaccine they were from.
If you are worried that you may miss out on the shingles vaccination, contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment to have the vaccine.
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Is It Safe To Get Both Shots At Once
According to the CDC, current guidance has shown that COVID-19 vaccines can be coadministered with other vaccines, including influenza vaccines.
Lisa Grohskopf, MD, MPH, a medical officer in the influenza division at CDC, tells Verywell that while weve said recently when asked that its safe to get both vaccines, this is the first published notice.
The CDCs recommendation to give both shots at the same vaccine appointment is an update to previous guidance, which stated that people should wait 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines.
According to the CDC, the guidance changed because experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
Shingrix Dosage And Schedule
Shingrix should be administered to adults age 50 years and older as a two-dose series , 2 to 6 months apart .
If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose of Shingrix, you should administer the second dose as soon as possible. However, you do not need to restart the vaccine series.
If the second dose is given less than 4 weeks after the first dose, the second dose should be considered invalid. A valid second dose should be administered 2 months after the invalid dose .
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Why The Cdc Updated Its Guidance
When the COVID-19 vaccines first came out, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended not getting other vaccines for 14 days before and after each COVID-19 dose.
The agency changed its guidance in May after data showed that the COVID-19 vaccine was safe and that other vaccines would not interfere with the immune response, experts say.
“That was because we wanted to really assess the side effects of the COVID vaccine as we rolled it out. We didn’t want to get that confused by giving other vaccines at the same time, says William Schaffner, M.D., a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Now, the CDC says COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines can be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines on the same day, as well as coadministration within 14 days.
Administration With Other Vaccines
CDC general recommendations advise that recombinant and adjuvanted vaccines, such as Shingrix, can be administered concomitantly, at different anatomic sites, with other adult vaccines. Concomitant administration of Shingrix with Fluarix Quadrivalent has been studied, and there was no evidence for interference in the immune response to either vaccine or safety concerns. Evaluation of co-administration of Shingrix with 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine and Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine, Adsorbed is ongoing. The safety and efficacy of administration of two adjuvanted vaccines , either concomitantly or at other intervals, have not been evaluated.
Shingrix and pneumococcal vaccine may be administered at the same visit if the person is eligible for both. When both pneumococcal conjugate vaccine PCV13 and PPSV23 are recommended for an adult, PCV13 should always be administered first and may be administered concomitantly with Shingrix.
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Shingles Vaccine And Pneumonia Vaccine
Dr. Horovitz isnt a fan of combining a shingles shot with any other type of vaccine. Ten percent of people will be really sick from a shingles shot, and their arm will really hurt, so I dont like to layer shingles vaccines, he says.
Shingles, a painful rash caused by a reactivation of the chicken pox virus, is preventable. The CDC recommends that Everyone over 50 get two doses of the shingles vaccine.
Mixing And Matching Covid
This is different from getting multiple vaccines in the same sitting. If you are in a location and can get your third shot or COVID-19 booster, and the type you received for your first two shots in the series is not available, its reasonable to receive the other type as a booster, Dr. Sobhanie says.
This only applies to the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, however.
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Will Being Vaccinated Against Flu Pneumonia And Shingles Help Prevent Covid
The short answer is no. But reducing your risk for getting sick with the flu, pneumonia, or shingles which is what these vaccines do makes a lot of sense during the pandemic, Privor-Dumm says.
Lowering your risk for vaccine-preventable diseases will help you avoid doctors offices and hospitals, which will reduce any potential exposure to the coronavirus, Privor-Dumm adds.
Plus, Privor-Dumm says, Preventing serious disease can help keep you out of the hospital at a time when health resources may be needed to treat COVID-19 patients.
Herpes Zoster In People Who Are Immunocompromised
People who are immunocompromised have an increased risk of herpes zoster compared with non-immunocompromised people. Rates of herpes zoster are up to 15 times higher in people who are immunocompromised due to HIV. In the 1st year after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation, up to 30% of patients may develop herpes zoster.25,37
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How Safe Is Shingrix
studies showed that Shingrix was safe and effective.
There have been concerns about ingredients, such as thimerosal, that may be added to vaccines. Thimerosal is a kind of preservative that contains mercury. Its added then taken out of some vaccines to keep other germs and bacteria from growing. The concern arose when early research connected thimerosal to autism. This link has since been found to be false. Shingrix doesnt contain thimerosal.
If You Get Both Shots At The Same Time The Side Effects Might Be Worse
The most common side effects of the flu vaccine include soreness or redness at the injection site, headaches, fever, nausea, muscle aches and fatigue. Those symptoms overlap a lot with the most common side effects of the COVID vaccine and booster dose.
If you get both shots at the same time , they will likely be given in different arms, so you dont have one spot thats really red and tender.
Everybodys response is a little bit different, but those after-effects from any vaccine are possible, and it would seem logical that if you had both of them co-administered that you might experience a little bit more of those after-effects, although that varies a lot from person-to-person, said Aaron Clark, a family medicine physician at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and medical director of the Ohio State Health Accountable Care Organization.
People who get both vaccines at once might experience a bit more achiness or feel more feverish, Clark said. But most side effects of both vaccines are mild and pass within a day or two.
Clark added that the 2021-22 seasons flu vaccine has just started rolling out, so there isnt yet a lot of national data on people who get both shots at once are experiencing. He emphasized that the bottom line is that both the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccines are safe and effective.
Co-administering vaccines is a very common tactic that we do, Clark said.
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How Can You Prevent Shingles
Vaccination is the ONLY way to reduce the risk of getting shingles. The CDC recommends that people aged 50 years and older get two doses of the Shingrix® shingles vaccine.
If you have questions about your shingles vaccination, you should talk with your Rite Aid Pharmacist or other health care professional.
Vaccines To Help Prevent Pneumonia
Pneumococcal disease is a serious infection that spreads from person to person by air. It often causes pneumonia in the lungs and it can affect other parts of the body.
There are two pneumococcal vaccines: PPSV23 and PCV13. According to the CDC, adults who are age 65 and older should get the PPSV23 vaccine. Some older adults may also need the PCV13 vaccine. Talk with your health care professional to find out if you need both pneumococcal vaccines.
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How Do You Catch Shingles
You do not “catch” shingles it comes on when there’s a reactivation of chickenpox virus that’s already in your body.
After you’ve recovered from chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus lies dormant in your nerve cells and can reactivate at a later stage when your immune system is weakened.
Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles.
Can You Get Multiple Vaccines At Once
The technical term for getting multiple vaccines together is vaccine coadministration. And the answer to whether this is a good idea depends largely on your age and health status, the vaccines youre considering, how urgent the need is to start building up protection against said threat or threats, and personal preferences, experts say.
As a general rule, there are very few vaccines that cant be coadministered, says L.J. Tan, MS, PhD, the chief policy and partnership officer at the Immunization Action Coalition in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Vaccines commonly administered together include DTaP and Tdap, which protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis , and MMR, which prevents measles, mumps, and rubella.
When vaccines are coadministered, they should go in different locations or anatomical sites, according to Dr. Tan. It can be in the same arm if they are spaced an inch apart, he says. This allows your doctor or pharmacist to identify which vaccine caused a reaction, should one occur.
Here, experts break down which vaccines can be given at the same time and which ones cant. Plus, find out why you still need to wear a mask indoors if youre vaccinated.
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Getting The Vaccines Together Is Safe And You Can Get Both At The Pharmacy
In the United States and other northern hemisphere countries, flu season refers to the fall and winter months, when there is a major increase in the transmission of influenza viruses. While flu seasons vary in a number of different waysduration, severity, and the timing of peak months, to name a fewthe fall and winter months typically see a major uptick in illnesses, hospitalizations, and fatalities caused by influenza.
As the world is still coping with the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020-2021 flu season has been a major focus of public health officials. One of the concerns is that the U.S. will be caught in a twin-demica flu season piled on top of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Public health experts have urged people to get their annual influenza vaccine, commonly called the flu shot. Some states, schools, and universities have even mandated that most students receive the vaccine in an effort to prevent the spread of influenza. The flu shot is already mandatory for healthcare workers in many states and organizations.
People who are aged 50 or older should consider getting another vaccine when they receive their flu shotthe shingles vaccine.
Here, we look at some common questions about the vaccines.
What is shingles? Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox:
How Long Does It Take To Work
It takes time for your body to make enough antibodies to fight off germs and protect you from certain diseases.
Results from clinical studies of Shingrix showed that the recommended dosing schedule for Shingrix does cause an immune response.
How long Shingrix takes to work may not be the same for everyone. The timing for you will depend on your body chemistry. In general, you should be protected from shingles soon after the second dose.
Studies in animals showed that there was no risk with Shingrix during pregnancy. However, animal studies dont always predict the way humans would respond.
If youre pregnant or planning to become pregnant, wait until after youve had your baby to get the Shingrix vaccine. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.
There havent been enough studies to show whether Shingrix appears in breast milk.
Until more is known, its best to wait until youve finished breastfeeding before getting Shingrix.
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Shingles Vaccine For Older Adults
Shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. If you had chickenpox, the virus is still in your body. The virus could become active again and cause shingles.
Shingles affects the nerves. Common symptoms include burning, shooting pain, tingling, and/or itching, as well as a rash with fluid-filled blisters. Even when the rash disappears, the pain can remain. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN.
The shingles vaccine is safe and it may keep you from getting shingles and PHN. Healthy adults age 50 and older should get vaccinated with the shingles vaccine, which is given in two doses.
You should get a shingles shot even if you have already had chickenpox, the chickenpox vaccine, or shingles, received Zostavax, or dont remember having had chickenpox. However, you should not get a vaccine if you currently have shingles, are sick or have a fever, have a weakened immune system, or have had an allergic reaction to Shingrix. Check with your doctor if you are not sure what to do.
You can get the shingles vaccine at your doctors office and at some pharmacies. Medicare Part D and private health insurance plans may cover some or all of the cost. Check with Medicare or your health plan to find out if it is covered.