Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Should I Get Shingles Vaccine?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:09 PM

Question: I am 67 and my doctor advised me to get a shingles vaccination. Is it effective, are there any side effects, and is mercury used as a preservative?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Shingles vaccination (trade name is Zostavax) is effective and well worth getting to avoid the significant pain and discomfort severe shingles delivers to its victims. Zostavax is a live vaccine that contains no preservative and contains trace quantities of neomycin. Side effects are rare. Even local irritation is unusual.
This vaccine is highly effective and is recommended for patients over 60 years of age with no allergies to any of the vaccine’s ingredients, are not on chemotherapy, and whose immune systems aren’t suppressed.
If you wait until shingles becomes evident, it is too late to vaccinate for any benefit, in contrast to other vaccines such as the Hepatitis B vaccine that starts to confer benefit very soon after vaccination. There is no mercury in the shingles vaccine.

© HealthDay

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