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What Are The Side Effects Of Shingrix?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the side effects of the preferred shingles vaccine, Shingrix.


What are the side effects from Shingrix? I will be getting it soon and had trouble with the other shingles vaccine.

Asked by Cynthia On Mar 29, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Mar 29, 2018


Shingrix, the preferred vaccination for the prevention of shingles, is a 2 shot series that is injected intramuscularly. After the first dose is given, the second dose should be given 2 to 6 months later.

Like most vaccinations, the most commonly reported side effects are local, injection site reactions. Other side effects include:

  • Aches
  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • GI Problems

The prescribing information for shingles lists the adverse reaction data from over 14,000 individuals who received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Below is the comprehensive list of Shingrix side effects, including the incidence rate in regard to the age of the individual receiving the vaccination:

Incidence Of Shingrix Side Effects (Based On Age)

Adverse ReactionAged 50-59 YearsAged 60-69Aged 70 And Over
Local Pain88.4%82.8%69.2%
Grade 3 Pain10.3%6.9%4.0%
Local Redness38.7%38.4%37.7%
Redness >100mm2.8%2.6%3.1%
Local Swelling30.5%26.4%23.0%
Swelling >100mm1.1%0.5%1.3%
Myalgia (Muscle Pain)56.9%49.0%35.1%
Grade 3 Myalgia 8.9%5.3%2.8%
Grade 3 Fatigue8.5%5.0%3.5%
Grade 3 Headache6.0%3.7%1.5%
Grade 3 Shivering6.8%4.5%2.2%
Grade 3 Fever0.4%0.5%0.1%
Grade 3 GI2.1%0.9%1.2%

*Grade 3 is defined as preventing normal everyday activities

Source: Adapted from Shingrix Package Insert

If any of the above side effects occur, they may last a couple of days, especially the injection site reactions (e.g. local pain). However, they do not seem to worsen with the second dose of Shingrix (2 to 6 months later).

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

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