The patient information leaflets for the shingles vaccines available in the UK can be found here: Zostavax and Shingrix.
Side effects associated with the Shingrix vaccine are:
Very common - may affect more than 1 in 10 people include:
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and/or stomach pain
- muscle pain
- pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
- feeling tired, chills and fever
Common - may affect up to 1 in 10 people:
- itching where the injection is given
- generally feeling unwell
Uncommon – may affect up to 1 in 100 people:
- swollen glands in the neck, armpit or groin
- joint pain
Side effects associated with the Zostavax live Shingles vaccine are listed below.
Very common – may affect more than 1 in 10 people include:
- redness, pain, swelling and itching at the injection site
Common - may affect up to 1 in 10 people at each dose:
- warmth, bruising, rash or a hard lump at the injection site.
- pain in the arm or leg where the injection was given
- joint or muscle pain
- raised temperature/fever
Uncommon – may affect up to 1 in 100 people at each dose:
- feeling sick
- swollen glands in the neck or armpit
Rare – may affect up to 1 in 1000 people at each dose:
- hives at the injection site
Very rare – may affect fewer than 1 in 10,000 people:
- a chickenpox-like illness following vaccination. If you develop a rash with blisters, keep it covered and consult a doctor.
As with any vaccine, medicine or food, there is a very small chance of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is different from less severe allergic reactions because it causes life-threatening breathing and/or circulation problems. It is always extremely serious but can be treated with adrenaline. Healthcare workers who give vaccines know how to do this.
In the UK between 1997 and 2003 there were a total of 130 reports of anaphylaxis following ALL immunisations. During these six years, around 117 million doses of vaccines were given in the UK. This means that the overall rate of anaphylaxis is around 1 in 900,000.
If you are concerned about any reactions that occur after vaccination, consult your doctor. In the UK you can report suspected vaccine side effects to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) through the Yellow Card Scheme. You can also contact the MHRA to ask for data on Yellow Card reports for individual vaccines. See more information on the Yellow Card scheme and monitoring of vaccine safety.