The second face of the chicken pox: What is the vaccine brings against shingles?

Herpes Zoster: What is the shingles vaccination brings

About one in five people ill in his life, shingles (medical term Herpes Zoster), very often it hits the elderly. Health experts advise to treat the disease as quickly as possible. Even better prevent. A vaccination is available. Experts explain what brings this.

Every Fifth ill

The shingles (Herpes Zoster) is a disease caused by the Virus that also causes chicken pox: varicella Zoster can lie dormant for decades in the nervous system. Age, Stress and illness can reactivate the pathogens and shingles cause, visible on the skin rash. About one in five becomes ill in his life to this infectious disease, which occurs especially in the elderly or in patients with a weakened immune system. Stress or severe disease, you encourage even in Younger. Meanwhile, two vaccines are in this country against shingles approved. The test explained “” how Impfexperten you to assess.

In Germany, two vaccines against shingles (Herpes Zoster) are available. Only one is recommended. (Image: sharryfoto/

Usually, the belt’s healing rose within a few weeks

A sudden burning pain, usually between the waist and chest, and sometimes on the face, ear or eye: So shingles is announced normally. A few days later, a mostly band-shaped rash covering the more violent aching of the body.

In General, shingles will heal within four to six weeks. However, one in Ten suffers after chronic nerve pain.

Doctors speak of post-herpetic neuralgia. The pain can torment Sufferers for months, years or a lifetime.

How dangerous is the disease?

Shingles is not typically contagious. The disease breaks out when the immune system of an Individual weakens.

The pathogen Concerned, wear long in the body. The wind is smallpox Virus, varicella Zoster, which sets after overcoming an illness in the nerves of the spinal cord and brain.

There it lies dormant in a lot of copies, often for decades. If the defense wears off, it can be active again. Then it shows up in his second appearance as shingles.

Contagious Herpes Zoster is only for those who have not yet made any chicken pox: about five percent of the Germans.

These people can infect themselves on the Secretions of the vesicles of shingles put – however, only when in direct contact. The infection does not lead to Herpes Zoster, but to have chicken pox.

Who disease had the children, need not be afraid of chicken pox patients. On the contrary, According to the Stiftung Warentest studies show that contacts with them may train the immune system and shingles to protect it.

Antidepressants can help

Shingles is suspected, the patient should immediately to the doctor. This may be prescribe anti-viral medication.

For the treatment of the skin rash, among other things, powders and creams are used.

In addition, the pain must be alleviated, so that they are chronic.

“Just the usual pain relievers but also a remedy for depression not come. However, they are dosed lower than for depressive disorders,” writes the professional Association of German internists (BDI) on its website, “the internist in the network”.

In addition, special paving, and epilepsy means for the treatment are available.

Vaccines against Herpes Zoster

Currently, two vaccines against shingles are on the market in Germany available: Zostavax and Shingrix. The latter is only permitted for 2018, and is part of the so-called inactivated vaccines. It contains certain proteins the Varicella-Zoster Virus, which are no longer active.

Although no evaluation of the Stiftung Warentest for the new vaccine, but an assessment of the Standing Committee on vaccination (STIKO). She recommends that all people aged 60 and over, to the newer preparation to vaccinate.

The vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 50 years, whose immune system is weakened by disease or treatment, explains the Federal centre for health education (BZgA) on the Portal “”.

The same applies accordingly for all persons over the age of 50 with underlying conditions such as Diabetes, rheumatoid Arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or smoker’s lung) and Asthma.

Recommendation for a vaccine

The STIKO recommends in the Epidemiological Bulletin December 2018, only Shingrix – however, depending on age and pre-existing conditions.

The experts attest to this vaccine is, overall, a good efficacy. You spent for the protection against shingles in people aged 50 years at 92 percent, and for the protection from chronic nerve pain in 82 percent.

The protection with increasing age, easily. The STIKO considers him for about 70-Year-old is still at about 90 percent.

In the Epidemiological Bulletin of September 2017, the STIKO does not recommend the older vaccine Zostavax as a standard vaccination – due to “reduced effectiveness” and “limited duration”.

The medicines experts of the Stiftung Warentest are not convinced of Zostavax.

Although they found that Zostavax could prevent two thirds of shingles disease in 50-to 59 – Year-old and also the risk for a severe course sink, but in older people it seem worse.

This is sobering, since shingles occurs in old age, more often and often with complications.

Serious side effects are possible

After vaccination with Shingrix side effects occur less often and less severe than after vaccination with Zostavax. The STIKO explained that the approval studies for Shingrix had shown no evidence of serious side effects.

Minor side effects are possible, which could last for about one to two days approximately every tenth patient, it could result in redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, or fever, fatigue, muscle and headaches.

However, these mild side effects occur after vaccination with Zostavax is already at about every Second, and ten to 100’s of 1000 Vaccinated lighter allergic reactions.

In individual cases, severe allergic reaction, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and dizziness have been observed.

According to the Stiftung Warentest, it looks that the Statutory health insurance funds will pay the vaccination against shingles in the near future – but only with the vaccine Shingrix.

Some health insurances cover these costs. (ad)