Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent shingles. It is usually given to people 50 years of age and older.
The vaccine is made of inactivated varicella zoster virus. It is given as a shot under the skin in 2 doses that are 2 to 6 months apart.
The chickenpox vaccine was started for children in the 1980s. It may reduce the chances of them having shingles later in life.
About shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/index.html. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Dooling KL, Guo A, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Jan 26;67(3):103-108.
Herpes zoster. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/herpes-zoster. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Shingles: diagnosis and treatment. The American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/shingles-treatment. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Shingles information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Shingles-Information-Page. Accessed November 15, 2021.
Last reviewed November 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 11/15/2021