Shingles

What is shingles?

Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. After an initial chickenpox infection, the virus remains in the human nervous system and can lead to herpes zoster in older or immunocompromised individuals. Herpes zoster is characterized by a localized, and often burning rash. Rarely, a so-called post-herpetic neuralgia can be triggered, which is characterized by a local feeling of severe pain that can last for several months,  and occasionally years.

 

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When and how often should I be vaccinated against shingles?

In 2022, the Shingrix vaccine is been approved in Switzerland, which provides 90-97% protection against shingles. The advantage of the new vaccine is better protection and the possibility to use it in immunocompromised patients. In order to get the vaccination, it is necessary to have had chickenpox in the past. The vaccine is recommended for those 65 years of age and older or for those with certain immune deficiencies. For full protection, 2 doses are needed with a minimum interval of 2 months.

Price:
175 CHF per dose

plus consultation and injection fee

What should I know about the shingles vaccine?

  • We have been vaccinating with Shingrix since 2019, 3 years before the official approval by Swissmedic, since it was the only way for immunocompromised individuals to be vaccinated against shingles. Our decision to vaccinate with this vaccine before official approval was made in conjunction with relevant health authorities.

  • The vaccine should not be given if one is currently suffering from herpes zoster.

  • Although there is a vaccine for chickenpox, it should not be used to prevent herpes zoster.

  • For more information on shingles, please visit the website of the FOPH.

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