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Somemythsand thefacts



You can catch shingles from someone with chickenpox.


Shingles can NOT be caught from someone with chickenpox. Shingles is caused by the reactivation of your own chickenpox virus, so you cannot catch it from anyone else. However it is possible to catch chickenpox from someone who has shingles but this is uncommon as most people in the UK have had chickenpox during childhood.

If you have shingles you are contagious until the last blister has dried and scabbed over. Until then, you should avoid contact with at-risk groups of people to whom chickenpox could pose particular danger. This includes pregnant women, people with a weak immune system (e.g. someone with HIV or AIDS) and babies less than one month old.


I've never had chickenpox, so I can't get shingles.


You can only get shingles if you have had chickenpox. However, chickenpox can be so mild in some people, they may only have a few spots and not be aware of it. Even such a mild infection can leave you at risk of shingles later in life.


I've had shingles already, so I can't get it again.


Unfortunately some people do get shingles more than once, although the risk is low. Vaccination as part of the national programme is still recommended for those who have had shingles in the past. The vaccine does not treat existing shingles or the pain associated with it.
Reporting of side effects. If you get any side effects with any medicines, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the medicines package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme by searching for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App Store.
By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of medicines.
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