Q. I'm 67 and had shingles four years ago. Am I immune to
it now? If not, should I get the new shingles vaccine?
A. Zostavax, the vaccine against herpes zoster (shingles),
hasn't been tested in people who've had a prior episode of
shingles, so I don't have a precise answer to your question.
However, with a few exceptions (see box), the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for all adults ages
60 or over.
Do not get the shingles vaccine if you
currently have shingles or post-herpetic neuralgia
have a fever of 101°F or higher
are allergic to a component of the vaccine,
especially neomycin or gelatin
have leukemia, lymphoma, or cancer that affects the
bone marrow or lymphatic system
have an immunodeficiency disease, including HIV or
are receiving high doses of immunosuppressive
treatments, including chemotherapy, steroids, or
have active untreated tuberculosis.
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