Over 1 million individuals in the United States are strained with shingles every year.
Skeptical individuals have formed their opinion on just how safe the shingles vaccine is, while others have dismissed disconcerting thoughts after clinical trials have proven the vaccine harmless.
Shingles is an excruciating infectious rash caused by the inactive chickenpox virus which can reactivate and replicate, damaging the nerve system.
The herpes zoster vaccine, designated as the shingles vaccine, is safe and well-tolerated according to a VSD study of 193,083 adults published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
The VSD study project is a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and integrated care organizations, including Kaiser Permanente.
The VSD monitors vaccination safety and addresses the gaps in technical awareness about any rare and serious events that occur following immunization.
This particular study examined 193,083 adults aged 50 and older from Jan. 1, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2008. Vaccination data were retrieved from electronic health records and collected from eight managed care contributing organizations.
Researchers found a small increased risk of local reactions from one to seven days after vaccination to validate earlier clinical trials in which there was indication at the injection site in the form of redness and pain. The study found no amplified risk for cerebrovascular diseases, cardiovascular diseases, meningitis, encephalitis, or Ramsay-Hunt syndrome and Bell's palsy.
"It's good to know there is no serious adverse reaction to the zoster vaccine. The study supports the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' recommendation and reassures the general public that the vaccine is safe," indicated study lead author Hung Fu Tseng, PhD, MPH, and research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif.
Virus Never Exits the Body
Shingles can afflict anyone who has had chickenpox—both of which are instigated by the varicella zoster virus. This virus never exits the body.
It remains hidden for years in nerve roots neighboring the spinal cord and can be reactivated as a shingles infection at any time, especially in those whose immune system is weakened by advanced age, anxiety disorders, dangerous stress levels, cancer, AIDS or even treatments like chemotherapy or steroids and drugs used to prevent organ rejection.
Follow-up studies remain endorsed and active to determine how long the vaccine remains effective.
To learn more about shingles, find a general physicians internists in your area.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.