Shingles and the chickenpox vaccine: What you should know

By Andy Stergachis, PhD, BPharm May 10, 2023 • 2 min

When it comes to the link between shingles and chickenpox, there’s quite a bit of confusion. Here you'll find answers to common questions.

Does the shingles vaccine prevent chickenpox?

The shingles vaccine is not approved by the FDA to prevent chickenpox. It has not been evaluated as a vaccine to prevent chickenpox. The chickenpox vaccine is effective and should be used as the primary method of preventing chickenpox.

Can you get chickenpox from the shingles vaccine?

No, you cannot get chickenpox or shingles from the Shingrix shingles vaccine. Shingrix is a non-live vaccine, meaning it uses only a piece of the virus so it cannot transmit the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.

Can you get shingles if you had the chickenpox vaccine?

Yes, you can get shingles even if you had the chickenpox vaccine, so it's important to get vaccinated against shingles. Also, immunity declines in older adults, so your risk of shingles and complications increase as you age.

It is much less common to get shingles after the chickenpox vaccine than it is to get shingles after the chickenpox disease. Shingles results from a reactivation of the virus long after the chickenpox illness has disappeared. People with a weakened immune system are at risk of developing shingles.

Clinically reviewed and updated by Nora Laberee in May 2023.


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