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Shingles Vaccination in India


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Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus can remain dormant in the nerve tissues and reactivate years later as shingles. Shingles is more common in older adults and individuals with weakened immune systems. Approximately one out of every three individuals will develop shingles at some point in their life after the age of 50.

Vaccination is the most effective way to prevent Shingles.

Shingles Vaccination schedule

Shingles vaccination for adults in India

Two doses of Shingles vaccination at a gap of 2-6 months are recommended for all seniors (50 years & above) to protect them from Shingles or Herpes Zoster. Consult your doctor or INVC vaccine expert to get more information on dosage and scheduling of the vaccination.
Currently the vaccine is not indicated for individuals below 50 years of age in India but your doctor can assess and prescribe it based on your medical condition and risk-benefit assessment.

Missed shingles vaccination?

It’s never too late to get vaccinated.
There is no upper age-limit to get the shingles vaccination. If you have missed taking the shingles vaccination earlier, now is the time to get vaccinated. Book a consultation with your doctor or INVC vaccine expert today to learn more about vaccination and protect yourself against shingles.

Cost of shingles vaccination in India

The cost of shingles vaccination depends on factors such as the type of vaccine, brand, manufacturer, applicable taxes and the vaccination service provider. On an average, the cost of one dose of shingles vaccination ranges between Rs 11000 to Rs 12000. It's best to check with your vaccination provider to get an accurate and updated estimate of the cost.

Shingles vaccination at home in India

Vaccination at home offers a convenient, accessible and safe way to protect you and your family from shingles infection. It allows individuals to receive the vaccine in a familiar environment, reducing potential anxiety or discomfort associated with visiting a clinic. Home vaccination not only saves time and effort, it also minimizes exposure to potential infections in crowded healthcare settings. INVC vaccine experts can help you with availability and scheduling of shingles vaccine at home in India.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that causes a painful rash.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains in the body in an inactive state within the nervous system. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles. It is not fully understood why the virus reactivates, but it is thought to be related to a weakened immune system or aging. Shingles is not caused by a new infection with VZV, but rather by the reactivation of the virus that was already present in the body.

Hospitals in India reportedly document over one million cases of shingles annually. Approximately one out of every three individuals will develop shingles at some point in their life after the age of 50. The risk of developing shingles increases with age, so the likelihood of experiencing the infection becomes more significant as individuals get older.
One of the most common and severe complications of shingles is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). PHN causes severe pain in the areas where the shingles rash occurred and is experienced by about 10 to 18% of people who develop shingles. The likelihood of experiencing PHN also increases with age.

Shingles is a painful skin rash that usually appears on one side of the face or body. The rash is made up of fluid-filled blisters that scab over within 7 to 10 days and typically clear up within 2 to 4 weeks.

Before the rash appears, people may experience pain, itching, or tingling in the area where it will develop. This can happen several days before the rash appears.

The rash usually occurs in a single stripe around the left or right side of the body. However, in some cases, the rash can affect one side of the face, including the eye, which can lead to vision loss. In rare instances, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems, the rash may be more widespread and look like a chickenpox rash.

Other common symptoms of shingles include:

  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Stomach upset, nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and Muscle weakness
  • Severe Pain that can last for several months after the rash has cleared up (this is called postherpetic neuralgia)

Shingles can be a very painful and uncomfortable condition, but it is usually not life-threatening. However, in some cases, it can cause complications that may require medical attention. These include:

  1. Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN): This is the most common complication of shingles and occurs when the pain of shingles persists even after the rash has cleared up. PHN can be a long-lasting and debilitating condition.
  2. Vision problems: If shingles affects the eye or the area around the eye, it can cause vision problems or even blindness if left untreated.
  3. Skin infections: The blisters of shingles can become infected, which can lead to more serious skin infections.
  4. Neurological problems: In rare cases, shingles can affect the brain and spinal cord, leading to neurological problems such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).

It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have shingles, especially if you are at higher risk for complications such as those with weakened immune systems or over the age of 50.

Shingles itself is not contagious. It can only be transmitted through direct contact with the fluid from the blisters, and only if the person comes into contact with the fluid before it crusts over. Once the blisters crust over, the risk of transmission is significantly reduced.

Shingles can be treated with antiviral medications, which can help reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms. These medications are most effective when taken within 72 hours of the rash appearing. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, may also be recommended to help relieve pain and discomfort.

In addition to medication, other treatments for shingles may include:

  • Cool compresses: Applying cool, damp compresses to the affected area can help relieve itching and discomfort.
  • Calamine lotion: Applying calamine lotion to the rash can help relieve itching and dry out the blisters.
  • Rest: Getting plenty of rest can help your body fight off the infection and reduce fatigue.

Avoiding certain triggers: Some people find that certain triggers, such as stress, sunlight, or certain foods, can worsen their shingles symptoms. Avoiding these triggers may help reduce the severity of the symptoms.

Yes, shingles can be prevented through vaccination.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Centres for disease control & prevention (CDC) recommends that adults aged 50 years and older receive the shingles vaccine, regardless of whether they have had shingles in the past.

Adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months.

The shingles vaccine is highly effective at preventing shingles and its complications. The shingles vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles in people who receive the recommended two doses. It is also effective at reducing the risk of postherpetic neuralgia, a painful complication that can occur after shingles. Even if someone who has been vaccinated still gets shingles, the vaccine can help make the symptoms less severe and reduce the risk of complications.

Yes, the shingles vaccine can still be given to someone who has already had shingles. The vaccine can help to reduce the risk of getting shingles again. If you have already had shingles, you aren’t immune from getting it again! Shingles can occur more than once in a lifetime and already having the infection does not protect you against future infections. If you recently recovered from shingles, we recommend you wait until your rash and symptoms have resolved before getting the vaccine.

The most common side effects of shingles vaccines are:

  1. Redness, swelling, or soreness at the injection site
  2. Headache
  3. Fatigue
  4. Muscle pain
  5. Shivering
  6. Fever

These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own within a few days. In very rare cases, serious side effects may occur, such as an allergic reaction. It's important to discuss any concerns about side effects with your healthcare provider before getting the vaccine.

The approx cost of one dose of varicella vaccination ranges is between Rs 11000 to Rs 12000 in India.

You can get the shingles vaccination by making an appointment with your doctor. Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment at your nearest INVC Vaccination centre or request a home visit by the INVC Vaccination team to receive the vaccine at your convenience.

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