The shingles vaccine should not be given to anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or to any component in the vaccine, including egg protein. In addition, people who are moderately or severely ill should be cautioned against receiving this vaccine until they recover from their illness.
Because the vaccine contains a live, attenuated virus, it is not recommended for any person with a deficiency of the immune system. This would include anyone who has HIV or certain kinds of cancer, is receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or has been on medications that suppress the immune system, such as steroids, for more than two weeks. It is also not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or might be getting pregnant (although that is unlikely for a woman over the age of sixty).