Shingles Vaccination FAQ

This information is based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). If you have additional questions about the vaccine, contact your primary care physician or pharmacist or see the CDC Vaccine Information Statement.


Who should be vaccinated? 

The CDC recommends that everyone age 50 and older get the Shingrix® vaccination.* This age recommendation is 10 years earlier than the recommendation under the older Zostavax® vaccine.


Why do I need to get vaccinated against shingles?

One million people get shingles every year in the U.S, and nearly one in three will get shingles in their lifetime. Shingles (also called herpes zoster) is a viral infection that causes a very painful rash and/or blisters, and can lead to serious complications. Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays inactive in the body. The virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles. Studies show significantly better and longer protection from the new two-dose shingles vaccine in all age groups that received the vaccine.


I already received the older shingles vaccine (Zostavax). Do I need this new one?

Yes. The CDC has updated their recommendations for the shingles vaccine now that Shingrix is on the market. Shingrix has better coverage/immune response than its predecessor, Zostavax. Studies show Shingrix is 97% effective against shingles in people ages 50 to 69, and 91% effective in people 70 and older. In contrast, Zostavax provides only a moderate level of protection at 51% effectiveness and dropping to 35% after five years. Due to these staggering numbers, the CDC recommends everyone 50 and older get the Shingrix vaccination, even if you received Zostavax in the past. 


I just got the old shingles vaccine (Zostavax). When can I get the new vaccine?

You need to wait at least two months after getting the Zostavax shot before you get the new vaccine. 


Do I really need two doses of Shingrix?

Yes. Shingrix is a two-dose series. To reach the 97% effectiveness outcome, you need to get a second shot 2-6 months after the first.  


How much does the Shingrix vaccine cost?

As an MNPS Cigna medical plan enrollee, the shingles vaccine is covered at 100%, with no out of pocket cost to you. You must be age 50 or older. Present your Cigna or Cigna-HealthSpring insurance card when you receive the vaccine. 


If you are not enrolled in an MNPS Cigna medical plan, you may still take advantage of the MNPS shingles vaccine clinics. Kroger will file a claim with your insurance plan, and you will be responsible for any applicable out-of-pocket costs. Be sure to bring your insurance card when you get vaccinated.  


* Some people should not get the shingles vaccine; for example, those with compromised immune systems. See the CDC Vaccine Information Statement or talk to your PCP for more information.




Vanderbilt Health at
MNPS Employee & Family Health Care Centers​