Shingles Vaccine in Singapore: Everything You Need to Know

Shingles is a viral infection that causes painful red rashes. It can manifest anywhere on the body, usually presenting as a band of blisters that encircles either the left or right side of the torso.

The root cause of shingles is the varicella-zoster virus, which is also responsible for chickenpox. Once an individual contracts chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in their system indefinitely. In some cases, it can become active again, leading to shingles later in life.

Why is the Shingles Vaccine Important?

As we age, the risk of developing shingles increases. The rash can be very painful and can cause complications, including post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is long-term nerve pain that can persist even after the rash has cleared. The shingles vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of developing shingles and its complications.

Availability in Singapore

In Singapore, the shingles vaccine Shingrix is available for adults aged 50 and above. The vaccine can be obtained at Advantage Medical Group’s four clinics islandwide across Singapore. Two shots are required and the second shot is usually administered 2 to 6 months later.

Effectiveness of Shingrix

Two doses of Shingrix provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication of shingles. For adults,

  • 50 years and older with healthy immune systems: Shingrix was 91-97% effective in preventing shingles.
  • 50 years old and older: Shingrix was 89-91% effective in preventing PHN.
  • With weakened immune systems: Shingrix was 68-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the underlying condition.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html#:~:text=Shingrix%20provides%20strong%20protection%20against,first%207%20years%20after%20vaccination.

Side Effects of Shingrix

Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccine can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild and include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, headache, and tiredness. These side effects are usually short-lived. If you experience any medical emergency such as shortness of breath, please seek immediate medical attention at a clinic or hospital.

Who should get the Shingrix Vaccination?

You should get Shingrix even if in the past you:

  • Had shingles
  • Received Zostavax*
  • Received varicella (chickenpox) vaccine

Do I need the Shingles Vaccine if I already had Shingles before?

Yes, you are still susceptible to the Shingles virus even after your first infection. We generally recommend a two month window after the last attack.

Shingles Vaccine Singapore Price

VaccinationPrice*
Shingrix (2 doses)$880

* Prices are subject to GST


Conclusion

The shingles vaccine is a crucial tool in preventing the painful and potentially debilitating effects of shingles. With its availability in Singapore, residents aged 50 and above have the opportunity to protect themselves from this disease. Please discuss with a doctor if you have any medical concerns or enquiries.