Does the Zostavax vaccine contain a live virus?

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In Zostavax, the virus is live, but weakened or altered (this is called attenuated). Because Zostavax is a live vaccine, it should not be given to people who have a weakened immune system. People who are getting radiation treatments or who are taking drugs called corticosteroids (or steroids for short) may have weakened immune systems, so they should not get the Zostavax vaccine. Also, people whose immune system is weakened due to diseases such as AIDS or certain cancers, should not get the Zostavax vaccine. In addition, Zostavax should not be used by women who are or may be pregnant.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.