Can You Get The First And Second Dose Of Shingrix At Different Places?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses if you are able to get each dose of Shingrix at a different location.

Question

Can I get the 1st and 2nd shingles shots at different places?

Asked by John and Carole On May 31, 2021

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

On May 31, 2021

Key points

  • Shingrix is a two dose vaccine series. After the first dose is administered, it’s recommended to get the second dose in 2-6 months.
  • It should not matter where you get your second dose. Just try your best to make sure it’s in the 2-6 month time frame. Make sure that whoever administers it is aware of your first dose and that they forward the vaccine paperwork to your primary physician.

Hi John and Carole and thank you for your question.

Shingrix: The Two Dose Shingles Vaccine

I just want to point out before I get started here is that there are two different shingles vaccines. By far, the most common is Shingrix.

There is an older, single dose vaccine called Zostavax which is rarely used anymore. The newest shingles vaccine, Shingrix is a two dose vaccine series. Shingrix is what I'll be referring to from here on out.

After you get the first dose of Shingrix, you should return to get the final dose within 2-6 months. Clinical trials showed that it prevented shingles in about 90% of patients receiving the vaccine series when compared to placebo.

Now, to answer your question specifically, yes, you can get the first and second dose of Shingrix (the vaccine for shingles) at different places (e.g. two different pharmacies). As long as you get your second dose at the correct time (2-6 months after your first dose), it does not matter where you get the doses.

A good bit of information to know is that each dose of Shingrix is the same vaccine, with the same components. Shingrix doesn't have a labeled 'first' or 'second dose' and a 'second dose' isn't put aside after someone receives their first.

I’ve given the first or second dose to a number of patients that travel south every winter or when they return in the spring, so it’s not uncommon. Realistically, the Shingrix that is in my pharmacy refrigerator is the same as others. The drug may have a different lot number or might have been produced at different times, but the drug and effect are the same as long as it hasn’t expired and has been stored correctly.

What Else To Know

Assuming that you get it at your local pharmacy, when you get your second dose, please let the pharmacist know that you’ve already had dose 1, and when you had the dose. That way, the pharmacy staff knows not to contact you for a follow up.

Also, be sure to have your primary care physicians information handy; that way the pharmacy can send them the vaccine information to update your health file.

Thanks again for your question!

References

  • Shingles Vaccination, CDC
  • Shingrix Q&A, GSKpro

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger, PharmD

Dr. Brian has been practicing pharmacy for over 11 years and has wide-ranging experiences in many different areas of the profession. From retail, clinical and administrative responsibilities, he's your knowledgeable and go-to source for all your pharmacy and medication related questions!

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