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Zoster vaccine (inactivated)

Genric Name: Zoster vaccination (inactivated) (inactivated) ZOS-ter-VAX-een [ZOS-ter-VAX-een]
The brand name is Shingrix.
Form of Dosage: intramuscular powder for injection (adjuvanted)
Drug class: viral vaccines

What is the inactivated Zoster vaccine?

Herpes zoster can be caused by the virus (varicella), which is responsible for chickenpox in children. When the virus becomes active, it could cause herpes zoster or shingles. An inactivated zoster vaccine helps prevent shingles.

The vaccine is effective because exposure to a tiny dose of inactive virus causes your body to build up immunity to the illness. The vaccine is not able to treat an active disease that is already present in the body.

Inactivated zoster vaccination is used to protect against herpes zoster (shingles).

  • Among people who are 50 or older, which includes people who have previously had a live zoster vaccine (Zostavax) as well as
  • For those aged 18 and over, they are at a greater risk of developing herpes zoster disease (shingles) because of a weak immune system.

Inactivated zoster vaccines cannot treat shingles, chickenpox, or painful nerves due to shingles (post-herpetic neuralgia).Inactivated zoster vaccination can be used to treat conditions not mentioned in this medication guideline.

Side effect of Zoster vaccines

The second shot is necessary if you experienced an allergic reaction that was life-threatening after the first shot.Keep a record of all negative side effects that you experience following the vaccination with inactivated zoster. If you get your second dose, inform your doctor if the initial shot triggered any adverse reactions.

An infection with shingles can be significantly more hazardous for your health than getting the vaccine to guard against it. Like all medicines, the vaccine could cause adverse effects; however, the chance of having serious side effects is very minimal.

Seek medical attention immediately in the event that you exhibit symptoms that indicate an allergy, such as asthma, hives, and swelling of your lips, face, and tongue.

A few people who received this vaccine experienced nerve system issues within 42 days of receiving the vaccine; however, the likelihood of developing this condition is minimal. Seek medical attention right away if you have:

  • The sensation of tingling or weakness;
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking;
  • Issues with balance, eye movement,
  • The loss of bladder control

Contact your doctor immediately. If you're suffering from a severe high fever.

Common adverse reactions include:

  • Headache, muscle pain;
  • Fatigue;
  • Stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea;
  • Fever, shivering,
  • Discomfort, redness, or swelling in the area where the shot was administered.

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and others could happen. Contact your doctor for advice regarding the medical effects of this medication. You can report adverse reactions to the US Department of Health and Human Services by calling 1-800-822-7967.


The second shot is necessary if you experienced an allergy that could have been life-threatening following your first dose.

Before you take this drug

It is not recommended to get this vaccine if you have had an allergic reaction to the inactivated virus vaccine.

Tell your doctor if:

  • If you've ever experienced the reaction of an allergy to any vaccination, you have ever experienced an allergic reaction to any vaccine.
  • You've fallen unconscious after receiving an injection.

Inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

How to take Zoster vaccines?

Inactivated zoster vaccines can be delivered by injection (shot) into the muscle. Your healthcare professional will offer the injection.

The vaccination is usually administered in a sequence consisting of two shots:

  • The second shot can be administered at any time during the two to six months following the initial shot.
  • For those with an immune system that is weak or those who are immune-compromised, the second shot could be administered any time between 1 and 2 months following the initial shot.

You can receive this vaccination in the same way you receive the flu shot.

Take note of all information for patients, including medication guides and instructions provided to you. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about any additional concerns.

Details on dosage

Usual Adult Dose for Varicella-Zoster—Prophylaxis:

0.5 milliliters intramuscularly
Do two doses. The second dose being administered between 2 and 6 months following the first dose.
The drug is not intended for the prevention of the primary infection of varicella (chickenpox).
Uses: To prevent the occurrence of herpes zoster (shingles) within:
Aged 50 and older
Adults who are 18 years old or older are at a higher risk of the herpes virus (HZ) because of an immunodeficiency or immune suppression from treatment or disease.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Consult your doctor if you missed the second dose or if you fell at the wrong time. You must take the recommended doses of the vaccine to be protected from disease.

What happens if I overdose?

A dose of the vaccine that is too high is not likely to occur.

What should be avoided?

Follow the instructions of your physician regarding any dietary restrictions regarding drinks, foods, or activities.

Interaction with other drugs

Other drugs can impact the inactivated zoster vaccination, which includes medications that are prescribed and available over the counter, vitamins, and herbal products. Discuss with your doctor all the other medicines you are taking.