Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry has announced the availability of vaccines for shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster, in all primary health care centers in the country.
The ministry said that the vaccine will be given in two doses two to six months apart.
The vaccine offered through the Ministry of Health’s primary care centers is one of the best standards of prevention, the ministry said, noting that it would contribute to preventing or reducing the risk of shingles for adults, in addition to reducing complications in those who have been confirmed to be infected with the disease.
The virus may be transmitted from person to person via direct contact with open sores resulting from a herpes rash or through the air.
People who are not immune to chickenpox are vulnerable to infection.
When a person who was in contact with a patient becomes infected, he will have chickenpox, not shingles, which can be very dangerous for many people.
People who have never had chickenpox, those who have not received the chickenpox vaccine, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and newborns are at risk.
A person with shingles will continue to transmit the virus until the herpes blisters disappear, and it is necessary for them to be careful and avoid direct contact with anyone.
Shingles is a viral infection caused by the reactivation of the chickenpox virus after a previous infection, and the disease may develop into potentially serious complications such as chronic nerve pain which occurs in about 30% of cases.
Studies have indicated that more than 90% of adults over the age of 50 carry the virus that causes shingles, and 1 out of every 3 persons can be infected with shingles during their lifetime.
Not everyone who previously had chickenpox will get shingles.