Do You Need The Shingles Vaccine If You Had Shingles Before?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not you need to get the shingles vaccine if you have had a shingles outbreak before.

Aug 04, 2018

Pam asked

Hi I'm a 63 yr old woman with diabetes. I had the Shingles about 4 yrs ago. Funny enough the pain manifested in my left hip which I had replaced 15yrs prior. Had no idea I had the Shingles for 3 days. Just felt like my hip had exploded!! Do I need the Shingles vaccine? Would not like to go through that terrible pain again.


Yes, even if you had a shingles infection before, you are still recommended to get the vaccine (Shingrix). In other words, vaccination is recommended regardless of your shingles.

Per the Centers For Disease Control:

"CDC recommends two doses of Shingrix separated by 2 to 6 months for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older whether or not they report a prior episode of herpes zoster."

So, in your situation, having had shingles four years ago, you are still recommended to get the vaccine.

Be sure to speak with your doctor regarding your options for getting the vaccine.

You can read the full guidelines and recommendations for Shingrix here: CDC Recommendations.


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