Do You Need The Shingles Vaccine If You Had Shingles Before?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not you need to get the shingles vaccine if you have had a shingles outbreak before.

Question

Hi I'm a 63 yr old woman with diabetes. I had the Shingles about 4 yrs ago. Funny enough the pain manifested in my left hip which I had replaced 15yrs prior. Had no idea I had the Shingles for 3 days. Just felt like my hip had exploded!! Do I need the Shingles vaccine? Would not like to go through that terrible pain again.

Asked by Pam On Aug 04, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Aug 05, 2018

Yes, even if you had a shingles infection before, you are still recommended to get the vaccine (Shingrix). In other words, vaccination is recommended regardless of your shingles.


Per the Centers For Disease Control:

"CDC recommends two doses of Shingrix separated by 2 to 6 months for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older whether or not they report a prior episode of herpes zoster."

So, in your situation, having had shingles four years ago, you are still recommended to get the vaccine.


Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding your options for getting the vaccine.


You can read the full guidelines and recommendations for Shingrix here: CDC Recommendations.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

About Shingrix

Shingrix is a recombinant vaccine recommended for adults at least 50 years of age and older to prevent shingles and related complications. The Centers for Disease Control recommend that all adults 50 years of age and older and without a contraindication (e.g. an allergy) receive herpes zoster vaccination with (Shingrix), even in those who previously received Zostavax. Shingrix is given as a two shot series, with doses separated by 2 to 6 months. In studies, Shingrix has been shown to maintain its efficacy for longer periods of time when compared to Zostavax. In addition, Shingrix is not a live vaccine, unlike Zostavax.

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