How Old Do You Need To Be To Get The Shingles Vaccine Shingrix?

In our latest question and answer, our pharmacist discusses the age requirements for the Shingles vaccine Shingrx.

How Old Do You Need To Be To Get The Shingles Vaccine Shingrix?
Mar 29, 2018

John asked

How old do you need to be to get the shingles vaccine Shingrix? I know the age requirement varies by shingles vaccine.


Shingrix Age RequirementShingrix, the shingles vaccine manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is recommended by the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) for adults aged 50 years old and over. This differs from the recommendation for the previous shingles vaccine, Zostavax, which is recommended for adults 60 years old and over.

Per the CDC

"CDC recommends two doses of Shingrix separated by 2 to 6 months for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older"

A common question that arises in regard to the new shingles vaccine...

  • Do you need to be re-vaccinated with Shingrix is you were previously vaccinated with Zostavax?

The answer is yes, it is recommended to be re-vaccinated with Shingrix, even if you previously received Zostavax. This is because the efficacy of Zostavax decreases greatly over time: 

"Studies have shown that the effectiveness of Zostavax wanes substantially over time, leaving recipients with reduced protection against herpes zoster. For example, the vaccine efficacy among adults age 70 to 79 years and adults age 80 years and older is 41% and 18%, respectively, on average during the first three years following Zostavax vaccination."

Current recommendations state that it is okay to administer Shingrix as early as eight weeks (two months) after Zostavax and should certainly be considered if it has been over 5 years since the Zostavax vaccination, as most of the protection conferred by that vaccine will have abated in that time span according to studies.

For more information on Shingrix, see our other articles:

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