Should I get vaccinated for Shingles?

Patient : My husband was just diagnosed with shingles and is on an antiviral. I grew up in a family with six children, but am not absolutely sure whether I ever had chickenpox. I have a history of genital herpes. I am a 60 year old female. Should I get a shingles vaccination shot?
Symptoms:  None
Doctor :   Welcome to Ask The Doctor. We are here to help you on this medical health advice platform. In case you never had chi cken pox, then it is advisable to get vaccinated for it. The vaccination if done reduces the chances of getting chicken pox, however doesn't guarantee you that you won't ever get it. Now, when your husband is having an acute infection, then vaccination won't help you now. The reason behind this is that if a person receives vaccine for chicken pox, his antibodies and immunity would take time to get built usually 2-3 weeks. So, it won't confer you acute protection. Moreover, in case you have contracted the infection from your husband, vaccine won't help you. So, in my opinion, you should wait and watch. In case you don't get any infection in next 2 weeks, then get vaccinated for Chicken pox. I hope it helps. Share my opinion with your doctor. If you have any further query, please ask me. Stay Healthy.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thanks for your prompt reply. Just want to make sure - should I get the chickenpox vaccine or the shingles vaccine?
Doctor: Hello. Shingles is a latent infection caused by chicken pox.
Vaccination is available for chicken pox that might give you some protection against shingles also.
Take care.

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