Shingles is a virus that causes a painful rash with blisters on the body.
Doctors recommend a shingles vaccine for people once they turn 50. But some patients report feeling sick for a day or two after receiving the shot.
In this WIS Health U report, Dr. Francisco Albert of Lexington Medical Center and a shingles patient explain why short-term discomfort from the vaccine is far better than suffering through the shingles virus.
According to Dr. Albert, 1 in 3 adults will develop shingles. He says nearly everyone who receives a shingles vaccine will have pain at the injection site. And, about half of the recipients will have flu-like symptoms for a day or two - including aches, pains, chills, nausea and headaches. Those symptoms go away after 24 to 72 hours.
While those side effects sound rough, Dr. Albert says getting the shingles virus is far worse. Patients develop a painful rash with blisters that has been described as feeling like sharp little needles or a stinging pain from touching an open sore.
Sometimes, shingles can lead to long-term nerve pain, too. And, active shingles is contagious.
Even if you've had shingles, you should still get the vaccine - because patients can get it more than once.