Vaccine recommended for older adults even if they've had shingles

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I'm a healthy 78-year-old man and have never had shingles or the shingles vaccine. I did have chickenpox when I was a child. Is the shingles vaccine something you'd recommend for someone like me? What are the side effects?

ANSWER: Once you've had chickenpox, the virus that causes it -- called the varicella-zoster virus -- stays in your body for the rest of your life. This virus can be reactivated at any time, causing shingles. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults age 60 and older get the shingles vaccine, whether they've already had shingles or not.

When you get chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus causes a rash...