About shingles

≥90% of Canadians have had varicella (chickenpox) and are at risk for shingles 1, 2*

The varicella zoster virus can reactivate years after primary infection, causing: 3

  • A unilateral, vesicular rash distributed across nearby dermatomes.
  • Neurologic pain symptoms including intermittent or continuous deep or superficial throbbing, spontaneous aching or burning, pruritis (intense itching), allodynia (pain triggered by minor stimuli), and hyperalgesia.
Image of shingles rash on the side of the torso.
Image of shingles rach on the face.

SHINGRIX is indicated for prevention of herpes zoster (HZ, or shingles) in adults 50 years of age or older. 4


  • Patients with a known hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any component of the vaccine.

Most serious warnings and precautions:

  • Administration: Do not administer the vaccine intravascularly, intradermally or subcutaneously

Other relevant warnings and precautions:

  • A protective immune response may not be elicited in all vaccinees
  • Not for prevention of primary varicella infection or treatment of HZ or postherpetic neuralgia
  • Postpone in those with acute severe febrile illness
  • Use with caution in those with thrombocytopenia or any coagulation disorder
  • Syncope following or before any vaccination as a psychogenic response
  • Fever and shivering were more frequent when the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPV23) vaccine was co-administered with SHINGRIX
  • Use in special populations such as pregnant or nursing women or pediatrics (<18 years of age) has not been established
  • Limited data in immunocompromised adults 50 years of age or older

Adverse events:

  • Solicited local and general adverse reactions that occurred in clinical trials within 7 days of vaccination in subjects aged 50–69 and ≥70 years respectively were: pain (85.6%, 69.2%), redness (38.5%, 37.7%), swelling at the injection site (28.5%, 23.0%), myalgia (53.0%, 35.1%), fatigue (51.3%, 36.6%), headache (45.2%, 29.0%), shivering (33.1%, 19.5%), fever (25.9%, 14.3%), gastrointestinal symptoms (20.5%, 13.5%)
  • Unsolicited adverse reactions that occurred in clinical trials within 30 days of vaccination in ≥1% of subjects and ≥2-fold higher than placebo recipients included chills (3.5%), injection site pruritus (2.2%), and malaise (1.7%)
  • Post-market adverse reactions are hypersensitivity reactions (rare), including rash, urticaria, angioedema

For more information

Please consult the product monograph at gsk.ca/SHINGRIX/PM for important information relating to dosing and administration, adverse reactions, contraindications and drug interactions which have not been discussed in this piece. To request a product monograph, or to report an adverse event please call 1-800-387-7374.

* SHINGRIX is not indicated for prevention of primary varicella infection or for the treatment of herpes zoster (HZ) or postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). 1


  1. National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Statement. 2010. Statement on the Recommended Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine. Published by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Accessed November 1, 2016. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/ccdr-rmtc/10vol36/acs-1/indexeng.php.
  2. Brisson M, et al., Modelling the impact of immunization on the epidemiology of varicella zoster virus. Epidemiology and Infection. (2000) 125, 651-669.
  3. Harpaz R, et al., Prevention of Herpes Zoster. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Early Release 2008;57;RR-5.
  4. SHINGRIX Product Monograph. GlaxoSmithKline Inc., June 3, 2020.