Is Shingrix A Live Vaccine?

Is Shingrix A Live Vaccine

Shingles are painful skin rashes. So people take vaccines to get relief from this disease. Shingrix is an FDA-approved vaccine for preventing shingles. But people always ask, “Is Shingrix a live vaccine? If you want to know about this vaccine, you are in the right place now. I am here to share the vaccine details from my knowledge on Health Studies and Health Awareness.

I hope you will read this article from the beginning to the end for a clear idea about the vaccine and its use.


What is Shingrix? Is Shingrix A Live Vaccine?

Shingrix is a vaccine for preventing shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), the only common complication in adults 50 years and older. Shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine contains NON-live, recombinant. But Shingrix does not use to prevent chickenpox. According to CDC, you should make every effort to make sure that you administer two doses within 2-6 months. Two Doses of Shingrix are pretty 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Protection stays above 85% for a minimum of primary four years after you get vaccinated. However, your doctor or pharmacist can provide you Shingrix as an injection into the muscle, typically in your upper arm.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved Shingrix in 2017. Shingrix is an inactivated vaccine that does not contain the live varicella-zoster virus. GlaxoSmithKline manufactures Shingrix.

Shingrix is not a live vaccine

An active vaccine contains a weakened sort of a germ. Shingrix isn’t a live vaccine. To simplify, it is an inactive vaccine, which is a vaccine produced from an embryo that has killed.

Because Shingrix is inactive, more people can take it. It includes people with a weakened immune system (the body’s defense against disease).


What is Shingles?

Shingles, also named herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus. It is the same virus that makes chickenpox.

If you are one among the approximately 99% of adults over 50 years old, who have got chickenpox, the virus that makes shingles lies already inside your body. Therefore, it can reactivate at any moment, and your risk rises. It is because your immune system naturally reduces with age.

Typically, people only develop shingles once, although it is possible to get shingles more than once. Shingles may lead to long-term complications like debilitating pain that lasts for months or even years. In rare cases, severe and long-term eye or hearing problems can occur.

Who is at risk of getting Shingles?

No matter how healthy you are feeling, your immune system reduces as you age, which puts you at an increased risk for shingles, especially if you are over 50 years old.

Shingles Symptoms

Shingles typically make a painful rash that blisters and scabs over in 7 to 10 days. It’ll usually clear up within a couple of weeks. Over 96% of individuals who get shingles experience acute pain, and many describe the pain as aching, burning, stabbing, or shock-like.

Besides, some people experience complications that will cause long-term health problems.  The significant difficulty is post-herpetic neuralgia, severe pain that will last for months or even years in the healed rash regions. Moreover, other possible complications include scarring, problems with vision, and partial disability or paralysis of the areas served by affected nerves.


Shingrix Dosage and Schedule

Shingrix is administered to adults age 50 years and older as a two-dose series (0.5 ml each), two to six months apart.

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If six months have elapsed since the primary dose of Shingrix, you ought to administer the second dose as soon as possible. However, you do not require to begin the vaccine series again.

If the second dose is taken less than four weeks after the first dose, the second dose should be considered invalid. An excellent double dose should be administered two months after the weak dose.


Reconstituting Shingrix

It would be best if you prepared Shingrix by remaking the antigen component with the adjuvant suspension ingredient. Either administer it immediately or keep it in the refrigerator and use it within 6 hours of reconstitution. Otherwise, discard it.

Administering Shingrix

Shingrix should be injected intramuscularly within the deltoid region of the upper arm.  Subcutaneous injection may be a vaccine administration error and will  avoid. However, if you unconsciously administer Shingrix subcutaneously, that dose is thought valid and does not require again. If a subcutaneous vaccine administration is found error on the primary amount of Shingrix, a second dose remains needed after 2 – 6 months.

Importantly, Shingrix needs to be administered immediately after reconstitution or stored in the fridge. Don’t freeze Shingrix. Don’t use if exposed to temperatures below 36⁰F.

Who Should Get Shingrix?

Healthy adults 50 years and older should receive two doses of Shingrix. You should receive Shingrix, albeit in the past you had shingles, received Zostavax, and you are not sure if you had chickenpox.

There’s no specific length of time that you have to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally, you should ensure the shingles rash has gone away before getting a vaccination. However, anybody can receive this vaccine after 50 years till death.


You can receive Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past. Researches show that more than 99% of Americans 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember having the disease. Chicken-pox and shingles are related because the same virus (varicella-zoster virus) causes them.  After a person gets well from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the body. But it can reactivate after years and cause shingles.


Who Should Not Get Shingrix?

You are advised not to get Shingrix if you have ever had a severe allergy to any Vaccine component or after a dose of Shingrix or if you tested negative for immunity to varicella-zoster virus. If you test negative, you ought to get a chickenpox Vaccine. You should not receive Shingrix if you currently have shingles or are now pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you have got a minor acute illness, like a cold, you might get Shingrix. But if you have a severe critical illness, you usually need to wait until you recover. It includes anyone with a body temperature of 101.3°F or higher.

For your understanding, Shingrix side effects are periodic and typically last two to three days. While you might experience pain a few days after getting Shingrix, the pain is less severe than having shingles and the disease’s complications.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about other precautions before getting a shingles vaccine. You may require additional treatment and supervision to receive Shingrix.

Is Shingrix A Live Vaccine?

The human body responds to germs by producing antibodies. These are proteins that fight off some germs. Antibodies also prevent future infections by remembering the germs so they can fight them off more quickly.

GlaxoSmithKline manufactures Shingrix Vaccines from germs or pieces of germs that help your body imitate an actual disease. It prompts your body to make antibodies. Shingrix introduces proteins from the shingles or herpes zoster virus to the human body. The human body responds by protecting itself from infection by the shingles virus. It is often called an immune response.

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Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia, the shingles’ common complication.

  • In age 50 to 69 years who took two doses, Shingrix is 97% effective in preventing shingles; among ages 70 years and older, Shingrix is 91% effective.
  • In age 50 to 69 years old who took two doses, Shingrix is 91% effective in preventing PHN; among ages 70 years and older, Shingrix is 89% effective in preventing PHN.

Shingrix protection stays high in people 70 years and older throughout the four years following vaccination. As your risk of shingles and PHN rises as you grow old, it’s essential to have strong protection against shingles in your more aged years.

Side Effects of Shingrix

The results of various research showed that Shingrix is safe and effective. The vaccine helps your body produce a strong defense against shingles. For this, you are likely to have transient side effects from getting the shots. The side effects might affect your ability to do daily activities for a couple of days.

Most people receive a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also have redness and swelling at the injected area. Some people feel tired, vomiting, dizzy, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, diarrhea, or nausea. However, symptoms go away on their own within few days or a couple of weeks. If they are more severe, don’t go away. It would be best if you discussed it with your doctor or pharmacist.

If you face any side effects from Shingrix, you should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor might file this report; otherwise, you can do it yourself through the VAERS website external icon or call them the given phone number on the website.

The shingles vaccine doesn’t contain thimerosal (a preservative containing mercury).

Shingrix and alcohol

There are not any specific warnings or guidelines about Shingrix and alcohol. If you have concerns about drinking alcohol and getting the Shingrix vaccine, discuss with your doctor.

How Can I Pay For Shingrix? Is Shingrix A Live Vaccine?

 There are many ways shingles vaccine may use. such as:


  • Medicare Part D plans to cover the shingles vaccine, but there is a cost to you depending on your plan. There is a copay for the vaccine, or you need to pay in full then get repaid for a certain amount.
  • Medicare Part B doesn’tcover this vaccine.


  • Medicaid might or might not cover the vaccine. Contact your insurer to seek out.

 Private health insurance

  • Several private health insurance plans will cover the vaccine, but it may cost you, depending on your schedule. You can contact your insurer to seek out.

 Vaccine assistance programs

  • Some pharmaceutical companies give vaccines to eligible adults who cannot afford them. You can check with the vaccine manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, about Shingrix.

To get doctor’s offices or pharmacies near you that provide the vaccine, you can visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finderexternal icon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  1. Is Shingrix a live virus vaccine?

Ans: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) in 2017. meaning it uses a dead version of the virus, eliminating transmission risk.


  1. What type of Vaccine is Shingrix?

Ans: Shingrix is a recombinant vaccine did to prevent herpes zoster, or shingles, in adults aged 50 years or older. Approved in 2017, Shingrix is an inactivated vaccine that does not contain the live varicella-zoster virus.


  1. Which is better, Shingrix or Zostavax?

Ans: Shingrix is 97% effective at preventing herpes zoster (shingles) in folks over 50, whereas the Zostavax shot is 50-64% effective in preventing shingles in those 50-70 and even lower for those over 70. Shingrix also stays effective for longer.


  1. How should I administer Shingrix?

Ans: You should administer Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine) intramuscularly in the upper arm’s deltoid region.



Ending Speech on Is Shingrix A Live Vaccine?

Thanks for being with me from the beginning to the end of the article. So I hope you have got the answer to your question, “Is Shingrix a live vaccine“? Though this vaccine is so effective, it would be best to discuss with a doctor before taking these kinds of vaccination.


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