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How are CVS Pharmacy® and MinuteClinic® different?

At Pharmacy, vaccinations for adolescents through seniors are administered by a certified immunizing pharmacist. Age and state restrictions apply. No appointment necessary.

At MinuteClinic, vaccinations for children (18 months and older in most states) through seniors are administered by a medical provider. View wait times and schedule a visit online, or walk-in anytime.

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Nearly 1 in 3 adults will develop shingles during their lifetime.

Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

Availability: CVS Pharmacy

What is shingles?

Shingles, also called Herpes Zoster, is a painful skin rash that often appears on one side of the face or body. The rash consists of blisters that typically scab over and fully clears up within 2 to 4 weeks. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach.

Before the rash appears, people often have pain, itching, or tingling in the area where it will develop, which may happen several days before the rash appears. The rash commonly occurs in a stripe or line around either the left or the right side of the body. The rash may also occur on the face, which may be dangerous as it can affect the eye and potentially cause vision loss.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, called Varicella Zoster (VZV). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in their body. The virus can reactivate later, causing shingles. If you have shingles, direct contact with the fluid from your rash blisters can spread the virus to people who have never had chickenpox or never received the chickenpox vaccine. If this happens and if they become infected they will develop chickenpox, not shingles. They could then potentially develop shingles later in life.1

What about the vaccine?

  • Shingrix® is a vaccine indicated for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in adults aged 50 years and older.2 Two doses of Shingrix (separated by 2 to 6 months) can help to provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is long-term nerve pain, the most common complication of shingles.
  • The 2-dose Shingrix vaccine series has been shown to be 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults aged 50-69 and 91% effective for those 70 and older.3
  • The 2-dose Shingrix vaccine was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults aged 50-69, and 89% effective in those 70 and older.

What does "Most insurance accepted" mean?

It means we accept over 5,000 health plans for vaccinations. Your out-of-pocket cost, if any, will depend on your specific insurance plan.

Who should get vaccinated?

Shingrix is for adults age 50 and older. Zostavax (a live vaccine previously used for prevention of herpes zoster) is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. You should get Shingrix even if in the past you had shingles, have received Zostavax, or are not sure if you had chickenpox. There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.3

Who should NOT get vaccinated or should wait?

  • Patients with a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine or after a previous dose of Shingrix
  • Patients who tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster virus. If you test negative, you should get the chickenpox (Varicella) vaccine.
  • Patients who currently have shingles
  • Patients who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to get Shingrix.

What are the side effects?

Because the vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. You may experience side effects after either dose or after both doses, which may include:

  • Redness, soreness, swelling at the site of the vaccination
  • Tiredness, muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, nausea

About 1 out of 6 people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms usually went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days.3

Like to learn more?

See All Vaccinations


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

*Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply. See Immunization Scheduler for details.

**In select states. Visit for details.

1. About Shingles (Herpes Zoster) | CDC. Published 2021. Accessed May 4, 2021.

2. SHINGRIX Package Insert. Accessed May 5, 2021.

3. Shingrix Shingles Vaccination: What Everyone Should Know | CDC. Published 2021. Accessed May 4, 2021.