Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine?

It's a rash that looks innocent enough; a couple of years ago nurse Cindy Powers developed something similar around her trunk.

With her medical knowledge she knew she had to take action.

“Slight itching on my waist; it proceeded to start burning and the burn went around my whole waist and so the next morning I got up and I had a rash--immediately went to Urgent Care, told my doctor I have Shingles,” says Powers.

If you've had the Chicken Pox--you are at risk for developing Shingles.

That's because the virus that causes the disease Herpes Zoster lies dormant in the nerves for years afterward.

Later in life when your immune system isn't what it once was, or you get sick or stressed out, the virus re-activates, and starts to travel along the nerve track causing painful blisters.

“It can be exceedingly painful and there is a phenomenon that happens afterward called postherpetic neuralgia and what that is is people can have a pain syndrome in that area we call a Dermatoma that can be permanent,” says Dr. Cindy Lamerson with Nevada Center for Dermatology.

A Shingles Vaccine is recommended for those 50 years and older.

The vaccine boosts the body's immune system and can cut your risk of developing the disease by 50%.

Even those who have had Shingles are encouraged to get a vaccine as well, because of its affects on immunity.

The jury is still out on whether children who get the Chicken Pox Vaccine have to worry about Shingles.

Doctors don't know yet if as adults they'll have to get an additional shot to boost the immune system.

A majority of older Americans had Chicken Pox as children, which means millions of Americans are at risk for developing Shingles.