The research done at Kaiser Permanente Southern California has shown that side effects are very unusual and that the vaccine is well-tolerated.
According to the New York Times that covered the story, "Researchers studied medical records of 193,083 people age 50 and older, following them for six weeks after getting the vaccine. They found no increased risk for stroke, heart disease, heart attack, meningitis or encephalitis.
"There was no increased risk for Bell’s palsy or Ramsay Hunt syndrome, possible complications of infection with herpes zoster, the virus that causes shingles and chicken pox. The most common side effect was swelling or redness at the site of the injection."
“If we look at the data, we don’t see any risk of serious adverse events following the vaccination,” said Hung Fu Tseng, the lead author and a researcher with Kaiser Permanente Southern California."
According the EmpowHER's Shingles page, treatment is focused on keeping the patient comfortable, applying wet cloths, as well as using calamine lotion, over-the-counter pain medications, and/or antiviral drugs.
There is no way to prevent shingles (other than a vaccination, as studies have shown the vaccine to reduce the odds of getting shingles by 55 percent) and no cure.
Shingles can take several weeks to recover from, or even months for those with compromised immune systems or advanced age.
EmpowHER.co. Shingles. Shingles Symptoms. Web. Friday, April 27th, 2012. http://www.empowher.com/condition/shingles/symptoms
The New York Times. Health. Research. Prevention: Shingles Vaccine Is Shown to Be Very Safe. Web. Friday, April 27th, 2012.
Reviewed April 27, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith