ZocdocAnswersCan you get shingles from the chickenpox's vaccine?

Question

Can you get shingles from the chickenpox's vaccine?

Growing up I never caught the chickenpox, because I got the vaccine she I was little. Bit vaccines are a weakened or dead strained of the virus right, so can I still get shingles?

Answer

This is a great question and one that should be discussed with your primary care physician. In theory, because you were given an inactivated virus that is the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine you should not get shingles. This is because the shingles is a reactivation or a previous infection with chicken pox something that vaccinated people might never have had. The chicken pox vaccine is still a relatively new thing, and the people that have received it are generally not in the age group of people that would be getting shingles. I think that what we will find out as the years go by is that some people that received the vaccine will still be able to get shingles later in life. This is because shingles is generally something that occurs when the immune system is knocked down. Thus, I can certainly imaging a scenario where someone gets infected with chicken pox despite being vaccinated either because of immunosuppression or waning immunity to the virus and then later on gets shingles. When you get to age 60 and the question of whether you should be re-vaccinated comes up, I image that we will recommend that people get re-vaccinated for the chickenpox (and thus also the shingles) to prevent infection of adults later in life during times when the immune system is a bit down. Again, please discuss your question with your primary care physician.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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