Shingles or herpes zoster (HZ) is a serious infection that can be very painful for the infected person, and its blisters or bumps occur in any part of the skin, including the face. This infection is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is also responsible for causing chickenpox. Shingles can last for years, but it is rarely life-threatening. However, the NHS reports that it may result in one fatal case in every 1,000 cases. Despite this, it is still important for Omanis to take precautions with the help of vaccination to prevent shingles in 2023, as it can cause a painful rash that later turns into itchy blisters. The shingles vaccine, called Shingrix, has proven to be the only effective way to prevent this infection. Also, it is worth mentioning that shingles or the varicella-zoster virus mainly threatens individuals’ health over 50 or with pre-existing health conditions. Therefore, Shingrix vaccination in Oman is essential for promoting society’s overall health and well-being. This is why we have indicated this article on Shingrix vaccination in Oman and will focus on its different aspects in the following.
As we explained briefly, shingles is an infection of the nerve, and its symptoms can look like chickenpox’s since the same virus, varicella-zoster virus, causes both of them. The NHS states that shingles or zoster can first present with symptoms such as a headache and fever, then a painful rash primarily affecting one side of the body will occur after a few days. Eventually, it can result in itchy blisters. In addition, this disease can also involve those who already have had chickenpox and people with a low immune system, including those who undergo chemotherapy or have a particular health condition. Fortunately, the shingles vaccine, by the name of Shingrix or Zostavax, is the best and most effective way to prevent shingles or herpes zoster in 2023, which can be up to 90 percent successful in prevention. But what exactly is this vaccine, and what does it do? These are the most asked questions about Shingrix vaccination in Oman, which we will answer in the following.
What Is It?
Shingles vaccine or Shingrix (zoster vaccine recombinant) is a type of vaccine particularly made to prevent varicella zoster virus or herpes zoster and its impact on the body. No matter how healthy someone’s lifestyle is, the immune system will be lower as individuals age, and they become vulnerable to viruses such as VZV. This vaccine, Shingrix, is the only way to help them protect themselves from infection. So, Shingrix or herpes zoster vaccine is indicated for people 50 and above. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) also recommends it for people aged 18 and older with special conditions such as immunodeficiency and immunosuppression. It is important to note that Shingrix is only to prevent herpes zoster and cannot help to prevent chickenpox. Therefore, the main purpose of Shingrix vaccination in Oman is to help society protect itself against shingles and its complications in 2023.
What Does It Do?
The newest shingles vaccine (Shingrix) is made from parts of the varicella-zoster virus (ZVZ) and glycoprotein E, which helps and boosts the immune system to defend the body against this virus. This vaccine works by boosting the vaccinated person’s immune system against shingles. Shingrix has two doses, and the manufacturer recommends completing these two doses to achieve maximum protection against herpes zoster. For a successful Shingrix vaccination in Oman, individuals should get the second dose of the vaccine after 2 to 6 months. In addition, the CDC states that Shingrix has a success rate of about 97 percent in people aged 50-69 years and around 91 percent in those over 69 years of age.
Before people start Shingrix vaccination in Oman, it is worth noting that shingles has two types of vaccine: Zostavax and Shingrix. Zostavax is the older one, which has been used since 2006 and has not been available in the U.S. since 2020. Shingrix is the latest shingles vaccine in 2023, resulting in the question of which one to choose: Zostavax or Shingrix. In general, healthcare providers and health centers in Oman prefer Shingrix as a better option for preventing herpes zoster than Zostavax for 3 important reasons, which we will explain briefly.
- Safety: Regarding Zostavax or Shingrix, nothing is more important than safety. Zostavax has a live virus; thus, compared to Shingrix as a nonliving vaccine, it is unsafe for many people in Oman.
- Effectiveness: Shingrix, as a recombinant vaccine, is more than 90 percent effective in shingles or herpes zoster prevention. Zostavax is only about 50 percent effective, a clear answer to Zostavax or Shingrix.
- Preventing PHN: Zostavax can reduce the chances of postherpetic neuralgia or PHN, a complication of varicella-zoster virus, by about 67 percent. On the contrary, Shingrix can be up to 90 percent effective.
To help Omani individuals make informed decisions about choosing Zostavax or Shingrix for themselves and their families in 2023, this brief comparison highlights the differences between these shingles vaccines.
The Shingrix vaccine has been approved by the FDA for preventing herpes zoster, meaning it is safe for everyone. However, as with any other vaccination, such as the HPV vaccine, it can have some mild side effects that people need to consider before starting the Shingrix vaccination in Oman. For example, pain, swelling, and redness in the injection site are the most common side effects after getting any vaccine, as with the shingle vaccine. Other Shingrix side effects include:
- Tiredness or low energy
- Shivering or chills
- Muscle pain
These side effects usually disappear within a few days; not everyone will experience them.
Importance of Shingrix Vaccination in Oman
Vaccination is the best way to protect a country or the world against infectious diseases, which can cause severe illness, suffering, hospitalization, and complications for years. Regarding this matter, Shingrix vaccination is the only way to help Oman overcome a serious common infection named herpes zoster. In other words, the shingles vaccine is the key to stopping the VZV from spreading all over the country and even the Arab world, especially those with a weaker immune system. In conclusion, Shingrix vaccination in Oman helps people be safe from shingles and also helps to improve the country’s overall health in 2023. However, not everyone at any age needs the shingles vaccine.
Who Needs Shingles Vaccine in Oman
In short, every Omani adult aged 50 or older must get the Shingrix vaccine, whether or not they have had chickenpox in the past. As humans age, the immune system weakens, putting the body at a higher risk of becoming infected by the varicella-zoster virus and developing shingles. Around 20 percent of these shingles cases will later develop into postherpetic neuralgia or PHN, which can cause burning and pain that lasts for months or years. Luckily, vaccination is also effective in preventing PHN. This explains why the CDC recommends getting the Shingrix vaccine for anyone 50 or older, even if they already have had Zostavax. In addition, any Omani individual over 18 years of age who is immunodeficient or immunosuppressed due to an illness must also receive the Shingrix vaccination in Oman. On the contrary, anyone with an allergy to any ingredients of the Shingrix should avoid getting the shingles vaccine.
How to Get Shingles Vaccine in Oman
There are different options for Shingrix vaccination in Oman, which people need to know before getting the vaccine. The first one is choosing Zostavax or Shingrix. Since Shingrix has proven to be safer and about twice times more effective than Zostavax in preventing both herpes zoster and PHN, almost everyone in 2023 prefers the Shingrix, as the CDC also recommends. After deciding about Zostavax or Shingrix, individuals need to choose between the biologic or biosimilar vaccines for Shingrix vaccination in Oman to be safe from VZV.
Biologic Shingrix or zoster vaccine recombinant is the original shingles vaccine that the FDA first approved in October 2017, and as for 2023, it has also received approval since May. However, although Shingrix vaccination in Oman plays a significant role in public general health, many Omanis 50 and above have not received any doses of this shingles vaccine yet. This is mainly due to biologics not being affordable and accessible to everyone in the country. Also, many have only received Zostavax, which needs to be more effective in preventing varicella-zoster virus from developing shingles.
The biosimilar shingles vaccine, or Shingrix, has the same quality and effectiveness as the biologics or reference vaccine. However, thanks to companies and manufacturers such as Opal BioPharma, biosimilars solve biologic vaccine problems. They are more affordable, ensuring more shingles vaccine accessibility for every Omani aged 50 and above, and are also the updated version of shingles vaccines. For example, the side effects of biosimilars are less than biologic Zostavax (approved in 2006) or Shingrix (approved in 2017) since biosimilars are the most recent version of the shingles vaccine approved in 2023. Therefore, getting this vaccine is the best way to increase Shingrix vaccination in Oman. The biosimilar shingles vaccine is highly recommended to everyone who needs to get the shingles vaccine, providing maximum protection against herpes zoster.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is an infection that varicella zoster virus or VZV causes, the same virus that causes chickenpox. This infection mainly involves people ages 50 or above since aging causes the immune system to wane. It may also infect individuals who are immunosuppressed or immunodeficient. Shingles start with headaches, pain, and tiredness, and within a few days, painful rashes will occur, some of which can cause PHN or postherpetic neuralgia, a burning sensation or pain that can last for years. The shingles vaccine, Shingrix or Zostavax, can provide prevention against this virus that causes herpes zoster. Yet Shingrix is much more effective, indicating the importance of Shingrix vaccination in Oman. However, biologics costs have caused many Omanis to be unvaccinated and, therefore, vulnerable to VZV. Fortunately, the country can resolve this issue by utilizing biosimilar vaccines that offer the same effectiveness at a lower cost, thereby increasing accessibility to vaccines. As a result, Shingrix vaccination in Oman will hopefully increase, and every day fewer people will have to face the difficulties of herpes zoster.