-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The shingles vaccine is
generally safe and well tolerated by patients, according to a new
Shingles, which affects more than 1 million people each year in
the United States, is a painful contagious rash caused by the
dormant chickenpox virus, which can reactivate and replicate,
damaging the nervous system.
Elderly people are especially at risk because immunity against
the virus that causes shingles declines with age.
In this study, researchers looked at data from more than 193,000
adults 50 and older who received the shingles vaccine, also known
as the herpes zoster vaccine, over two years. There was a small
increased risk of local reactions (redness and pain) from one to
seven days after vaccination. This finding matches the results of
The shingles vaccine did not increase the risk for
cerebrovascular diseases; cardiovascular diseases; meningitis,
encephalitis, and encephalopathy; Ramsay-Hunt syndrome; or Bell's
palsy, the researchers said.
The study was published online April 23 in the
Journal of Internal Medicine.
The study supports the vaccination recommendation from the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on
Immunization Practices "and reassures the general public that the
vaccine is safe," study author Hung Fu Tseng, a research scientist
with the Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, Calif., said in a Kaiser
Few people received the vaccine, which was licensed in 2006, the
news release said. The CDC recommends it for healthy people aged 60
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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