This is from the CDC web site:
Why is the shingles vaccine only recommended for people 60 years and older? A person's risk for getting shingles begins to rise around age 50. However, shingles vaccine (Zostavax) is only recommended for persons age 60 and older because the safety and effects of the vaccine were only studied in this group, which accounts for about half of all cases of shingles occurring each year in the United States. Future research will determine if the recommended age for vaccination should be lowered.
I was told by my pharmacist that I could not receive the shingles vaccine because it is a live virus and I am on an immunosuppressant medication, Simponi. This excerpt from a Medscape article is of interest to those on immunosuppressants:
"Others who should not receive this vaccine include patients receiving immunosuppressive therapies (including high-dose corticosteroids, defined as 20 mg/day or 2 mg/kg/day of prednisone or an equivalent dose of other systemic corticosteroids),
patients with active untreated tuberculosis, and women who are or may be pregnant. Finally, administration of zoster vaccine live should be deferred during acute illness (e.g., presence of fever > 38.5°C).[6,9]
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