Missed Second Shingrix Shot: What To Do

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses what to do if you accidentailly miss your second Shingrix dose.

Question

I had one shot of Shingrix back in February of 2018. Do I need to re-do the 1st shot or can I just get the second one and call it good?

Asked by Dave On Jan 04, 2022

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By HelloPharmacist Staff

Published Jan 06, 2022
Last updated Apr 23, 2022

Key points

  • Shingrix, the vaccine to prevent shingles, is a two-shot series. After your first dose, it is recommended to get your second dose two to six months later.
  • The CDC states that you should not restart the Shingrix vaccine series if you don't receive your second dose within six months. Simply get the second dose as soon as possible. It is unknown whether or not this alters the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Hello and thanks for reaching out to us!

I'm more than happy to answer this question for you regarding the shingles vaccine (Shingrix).

To start off, let's go over how Shingrix is recommended to be given.

Shingrix Recommended Schedule

Shingrix is a vaccine FDA-approved for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in adults aged 50 years and older. It is administered as an intramuscular injection (into the muscle) in a 2 dose series.

After the first dose is administered, the second dose should be administered two to six months later. 

The first and second doses of Shingrix are actually the same. There is no difference in dose or vaccine component. They are simply two doses given at separate times.

Now, let's talk about what you should do if you don't get your second Shingrix dose on time.

Missed Second Dose

As mentioned above, it is recommended to have your second dose two to six months after your first dose.

If more than sixth months have elapsed since the first dose of Shingrix, you should still receive the second dose but you should not to restart the series over.

In other words, if you "miss" the second dose of Shingrix, it is still recommended to get it as soon as possible per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control).

However, this alternative dosing schedule has not been studied extensively and it is unknown whether or not you are at an increased risk for shingles versus those who had the vaccine doses on time.

The following is from the Centers for Disease Control website:

"You and patients should make every effort to ensure that two doses are administered within the recommended interval. If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose, administer the second dose as soon as possible. Do not restart the vaccine series, and do not substitute Zostavax® (zoster vaccine live) for the second dose of Shingrix. If you are out of Shingrix and a patient needs a second dose, the Vaccine Finder may be helpful for patients to locate other providers that have Shingrix."

So, to summarize all of the above:

  • Get the second dose as soon as possible.
  • Do not restart the vaccine series.
  • Do not substitute Zostavax (zoster vaccine live) for the second dose of Shingrix

Final words

Thanks again for reaching out to us.

Let us know if anything else comes up for you and we'd be more than happy to help.

References

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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