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How effective is Shingles vaccine?

Updated February 10, 2023

vaccine effectiveness

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), SHINGRIX vaccine is estimated to reduce shingles by over 90 percent in adults 50 years and older.  The length of protection from SHINGRIX past 4 years is unknown. 

Zostavax shingles vaccine, which is no longer available for use in the U.S. as of November 2020, was estimated to be 51 percent effective at reducing the risk of shingles in adults 60 years of age and older.  The Zostavax manufacturer package insert states: “Vaccination with Zostavax does not result in protection of all vaccine recipients. The duration of protection beyond 4 years after vaccination with Zostavax is unknown. The need for revaccination has not been defined.”  However, efficacy studies showed a significant decrease in vaccine effectiveness one year post-vaccination and by nine years, Zostavax was determined to be no longer effective at preventing shingles. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Shingles and the Shingles vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.


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