The chickenpox vaccine appears to offer benefits beyond keeping the childhood illness at bay: It may also significantly reduce a child’s risk of shingles, according to a large study released Monday.
In the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers reviewed the medical records of more than 6 million children and found that those who did not get the chickenpox vaccine were over four times more likely to develop shingles before age 17 than those who were vaccinated, NBC News reported.
Chickenpox and shingles are caused by the same virus, the varicella zoster virus. After a person is infected with chickenpox, the virus goes into hiding in the body and can reactivate later, causing shingles. While shingles is most commonly seen in people aged 50 and up who had chickenpox as children, it does sometimes occur in children and teens.