Shingles vaccination in Singapore
The Shingles vaccine has arrived in Singapore! Shingles in chinese is known as 带状疱症/生蛇. In this article, we will be talking more about this vaccine, the cause of shingles, the shingles vaccine schedule and the side effects of the shingles vaccine.
What is Shingles?
Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster, is caused by the Varicella-zoster virus. The Varicella-zoster virus is the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a patient recovers from chickenpox, the same virus hides in the nerve root, much like a sneaky ambushing thief. When a person’s immune system becomes suppressed, the virus can reactivate, causing a painful blistering rash on the skin. Depending on where the rash occur, it can lead to serious complications. Shingles affecting the eye is known has Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus. This is a potentially blinding condition. Shingles affecting the facial nerve is known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome and can lead to facial paralysis as well as hearing loss. These symptoms are also commonly mistaken for a stroke. Shingles can also cause post-herpetic neuralgia. This usually presents as pain lasting for more than 3 months after onset of rash. The pain can be so severe that it causes difficulty sleeping. It affects more than 50% of those above 65 years old.
How common is Shingles?
Up to 20% of people develop Shingles in their entire life. Occasionally, a person can develop Herpes Zoster without knowing that they had chickenpox previously.
Preventing shingles with vaccination
The Shingles vaccine known as Shingrix has
- 96.2% reduction in risk of getting herpes zoster > 50 years old
- 89% reduction in risk of getting herpes zoster > 70 years old
It is currently recommended for patients > 50 years old. For patients who are on immunosuppressants, please enquire your regular doctor for more details.
Shingrix vaccine schedule
The Shingrix vaccination consist of 2 doses. The second dose can be given 2-6 months apart from the first dose.
Shingles vaccine side effects
The following are common side effects of the Shingles vaccine: pain, bodyache, fatigue, fever (around 20% of patients experience this)
Get the shingles vaccine, protect yourself! Remember, your health is your best asset, so why not take the step today? Call Eiddwen Family Medicine Clinic to make an appointment!
Note: Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions related to vaccines or your health.