I am considering getting the chickenpox vaccine. Is there a difference between it and the shingles vaccine?
Yes. They use the same antigenic material to stimulate the immune system, but the shingles vaccine has a much higher amount due to the body's requirements.
The strength/cost. The varicella vaccine we give in childhood & adolescents has a standard dose of the weakened virus included in each dose. My understanding of the shingles vaccine is that the dose of the weakened virus is much stronger by a factor of 5 times. Since it is designed to stimulate the weakened immune system of aging folks, the extra stimulation is necessary.