An improved shingles vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee is expected to vote on the recommendation the week of Monday Oct. 23. The new vaccine, which reportedly prevents shingles in 90 percent of people, is recommended for adults 50 and over.
Shingles is a viral infection that triggers a painful, blistery rash. It's caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. There's no cure for shingles, but a vaccine can reduce your risk of developing it.