In 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a shingles vaccine (Zostavax). Currently, the FDA has approved its use for individuals age 50 years and older, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended its use for individuals age 60 years and older. It is a live attenuated vaccine that boosts the immune system and only needs to be administered one time. Ongoing studies are under way to determine how long the shingles vaccine confers protection. It has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of developing shingles by about 50%-60%, as well as reducing the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia by approximately 66%.
By the time I got to the GP a red line of spots had appeared around my midriff. The doctor confirmed it was shingles and advised me to rest and take painkillers. I took some days off work but had to get back because of the new staff member and the workload. In hindsight, I should have taken more time off because I was in so much pain and tired all the time that I couldn't work properly. I had horrendous shooting pains around my abdomen - sometimes I was doubled up in agony and could hardly breathe. The row of spots became irritating blisters. The pain was intense for about two or three weeks, One of the main problems was feeling so tired. I slept whenever I could but the general lethargy lasted for around six weeks.