What is Shingles?
Once a person has had chickenpox, the varicella zoster virus becomes dormant. Years later, the virus can wake up and travel down a nerve to cause a blistering, painful rash in a patch on one side of the body that usually lasts 2-4 weeks. This is called shingles or herpes zoster.
Shingles can sometimes result in prolonged pain long after the rash disappears, causing discomfort for months or years. Shingles is much less contagious than chickenpox, but a person with shingles can still spread the virus.
A vaccine is now available for persons 50 years of age or older to prevent and reduce the severity of shingles. If you have already had shingles you may still receive the vaccine to prevent future occurrences.
This vaccine is available for travellers and non-travellers.
Vaccine name: Zostavax II®
Minimum age: 50 years
Primary: single administration
Duration: 10+ years