November 18, 2023

How Soon Do Shingrix Side Effects Start After Getting the Shingrix Vaccine?

Shingles is a painful condition caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (the same one that causes chickenpox). It can lead to serious health complications, including vision loss and long-term pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends all adults 50 years or older get the shingles vaccine, Shingrix, to protect against it. The vaccine is administered as an injection in the arm, usually the deltoid muscle. It’s typically given by a healthcare provider at a doctor’s office or in a pharmacy. You’ll need two doses of the vaccine, with the second shot being administered two to six months after the first.

Shingrix side effects usually start within days or even hours after you get the vaccination, and they go away on their own in about two to three days. They may include a sore arm, redness and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, fever, shivering, or nausea. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen to help reduce the symptoms.

While rare, severe side effects can occur with any medication, including Shingrix. If you have a severe reaction to the vaccine, call your doctor right away. The FDA tracks side effects and keeps a list of them on its website, called MedWatch. You can also report side effects to the FDA by visiting this website. The following mild side effects were seen in studies of the vaccine, but they don’t occur in everyone who gets a shot of Shingrix.


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