Chickenpox Vaccination Does Not Increase Herpes Zoster Outbreak

Two doses of a chickenpox vaccine, Varivax or ProQuad, are recommended for children, adolescents, and adults

grandma's hand in crib with baby feet, generations

According to a new study, receiving the chickenpox vaccine does not have a significant impact on whether you will develop herpes zoster (Shingles) versus non-vaccinated people. 

This study investigated the quantitative effects of chickenpox vaccination on Shingles incidence at the population level. 

The “exogenous boosting hypothesis” postulates that re-exposure to circulating varicella-zoster virus (VZV) over the life span inhibits reactivation of VZV. 

Consequently, if chickenpox exposure is suppressed by the introduction of chickenpox vaccination, the incidences of Shingles may rise.

But, this study shows no significant increase in shingles over time.

The study performed a systematic review of the impact of chickenpox vaccination on Shingles incidence and time trends, focusing on population-level effects by analyzing interrupted time series studies.   

A meta-analysis of related studies revealed no conclusive evidence that chickenpox vaccinations have a substantial, population-level impact on Shingles in non-vaccinated age groups. 

Chickenpox is a very contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness, and fever. 

In temperate climates, varicella tends to be a childhood disease, with a peak incidence among preschool and school-aged children, during late winter and early spring. 

With the implementation of the childhood varicella vaccination program in the United States in 1996, substantial declines have occurred in disease incidence. 

Because varicella is endemic worldwide, all susceptible travelers are at risk of contracting varicella during travel. 

Recommended:

Additionally, exposure to Shingles poses a risk for varicella in susceptible travelers, although localized Shingles is much less contagious than varicella. 

Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles.

However, the risk of shingles increases as you get older. Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop Shingles in their lifetime. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2 doses of chickenpox vaccine for children, adolescents, and adults. 

There are 2 chickenpox vaccines that are licensed in the United States: 

And, there are 2 Shingles vaccines:

Previously, during February 2018, the American Pharmacist Association published a key difference comparison chart between these Shingles vaccines.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information.

And, vaccine discounts can be found here.         

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Vaccine patients are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the CDC.