Shingles

New shingles vaccine offers more protection

Q: I recently read that the new shingles vaccine might be better than the older vaccine. I did have one shot of the older vaccine about seven years ago. Should I get this new one?

A: Shingles is caused by the same virus -- the varicella zoster virus -- that causes chickenpox. Once you have had chickenpox, the virus that caused it remains alive inside your nerves. It is inactive, but it can be reactivated later in life. This causes shingles.

When the virus reactivates, the infected nerves, and the skin the nerves go to, become inflamed, causing a burning or stabbing pain. A few days later, when the virus reaches the skin, a rash of blisters appear along the affected nerve....

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