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Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles infection occurs when the virus reactivates decades after initial infection, and affects approximately one in three persons in the general population during their lifetime. Shingles is characterized by a localized, often severely painful cutaneous eruption that can last weeks or months, and occurs most frequently in older adults.

Shingles vaccine is licensed for adults ages 50 and older. The current recommendation, however, remains to routinely immunize adults 60 years and older with a one-time dose of shingles vaccine. The vaccine can be given to people who have already had an episode of shingles. Check with your doctor to see if the vaccine is needed or if it will be covered by individual medical insurance policies.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Shingles Disease and Shingles Vaccine

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Last Updated: May 27, 2016

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