What About The Vaccine
- ShingrixÂ® is a vaccine indicated for prevention of herpes zoster in adults aged 50 years and older.2 Two doses of Shingrix can help to provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , which is long-term nerve pain, the most common complication of shingles.
- The 2-dose Shingrix vaccine series has been shown to be 97% effective in preventing shingles in adults aged 50-69 and 91% effective for those 70 and older.3
- The 2-dose Shingrix vaccine was 91% effective in preventing PHN in adults aged 50-69, and 89% effective in those 70 and older.
Why Getting The New Shingles Vaccine Is A Good Idea
Longer-lasting, more effective Shingrix vaccine recommended for most Canadians over 50, says U of A pharmacist.
May 14, 2018 By Bev Betkowski
It’s a good idea for most Canadians 50 and older to get the newest vaccine to prevent shingles-even if they’ve already had Zostavax, the only previously available option, says a University of Alberta pharmacist.
People who’ve received Zostavax to avoid the misery of shingles may have noticed the arrival of Shingrix, a new vaccine that became available in Canada at the beginning of 2018. Experts hail it as lasting longer and being more than 90 per cent effective in preventing the disease, which comes with a painful, blistering rash caused by the same virus that results in chickenpox. By comparison, Zostavax is only 50 per cent effective on average, said Christine Hughes, a professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
It may leave some wondering if it’s safe to double up on shingles vaccines by getting the Shingrix immunization but the good news is, they can, she said.
“For people who are worried, it’s not thought to have any associated problems. The effectiveness of Zostavax tends to decrease within five years of receiving the immunization, so it makes sense to consider getting Shingrix for long-term protection.”
How Do You Get Shingles
Shingles is a disease that can affect anyone who has had chickenpox. There’s no way of knowing who will get shingles. There are risk factors that can give people an idea if they are at risk for developing shingles.
Advanced age is a major risk for this disease. The risk of getting it increases with age. Around half of the cases of shingles are diagnosed in adults 60 and older.
Persons who are older than 70 have the highest risk of getting shingles. Persons who have trouble fighting infections are also at risk. An HIV infection can also put a person at risk for shingles.
A person that has cancer of the bone marrow or lymphatic system shouldn’t get this vaccine. People undergoing radiation or chemotherapy need to refrain too.
You should know that shingles is not contagious. It can’t be transmitted from one person to another. Still, precautions need to be taken.
People who have never had chickenpox can get chickenpox from a person who has shingles. If you haven’t had chickenpox or aren’t sure if you had it, make sure to stay away from anyone who has shingles.
If you have shingles, you need to stay away from others. Avoid being around people with a weak immune system. People who have a poor immune system are highly susceptible to this disease.
There are several things that people with shingles can do to help reduce another person’s risk of getting chickenpox. Cover the shingles rash as direct contact with the fluid from the rash blisters can cause chickenpox.
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When Should I See A Doctor Because Of The Side Effects I Experience From Shingrix
In clinical trials, Shingrix was not associated with serious adverse events. In fact, serious side effects from vaccines are extremely rare. For example, for every 1 million doses of a vaccine given, only one or two people may have a severe allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction happen within minutes or hours after vaccination and include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, or weakness. If you experience these or any other life-threatening symptoms, see a doctor right away.
Shingrix causes a strong response in your immune system, so it may produce short-term side effects more intense than you are used to from other vaccines. These side effects can be uncomfortable, but they are expected and usually go away on their own in 2 or 3 days.
Where Can I Get The Shingles Vaccines In Bc
Where can I get the shingles vaccines in BC? How much do they cost?
In BC, you can purchase the shingles vaccines at travel health clinics, most pharmacies and some doctor’s offices. Zostavax II is approximately $200/dose and Shingrix approximately $150/dose . Learn more about the shingles vaccines here.
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Does Medicare Cover Vaccines
Medicare covers the flu and pneumococcal vaccines at 100% under Part B, along with the hepatitis B vaccine for those at higher risk. That means no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. A tetanus shot after experiencing a deep wound or burn also should be covered.
Medicare Part D plans should cover the shingles vaccine, but check with your plan. You may have to pay at least a portion out of pocket if you havent yet reached your deductible for the year . There may be a copay, depending on your plan.
Some Vaccines Covered Better Than Others
Unlike the flu and pneumonia vaccines, which are fully covered as preventive services under Medicare Part B, the shingles shot and other recommended vaccinations are covered as prescription drugs under Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.
Some of those plans provide better coverage than others, but nearly all of them divide their formularies, or list of covered drugs, into tiers according to cost. Drugs in Tier 1 and 2, mainly lower-priced generics and preferred brand-name drugs, have lower co-pays than more expensive nonpreferred brands in Tier 3 or 4.
Consumer Reports found that many Part D plans categorize the shingles vaccine, Zostavax, as an expensive Tier 3 or 4 drug. Only one pharmaceutical companyMerckmakes the shingles shot, and theres currently no generic version.
That means if you havent met your annual deductible, youll likely wind up paying full price for the shot, which is about $217. But depending on your plan, even after the deductible is met, consumers may have to pay a significant part of the shingles vaccine costup to $100.
Many healthcare providers havent set up billing systems to file claims through prescription drug plans. So if you’re vaccinated at your doctors office, you might be required to pay the full shingles vaccine cost up front and then file to be reimbursed by your insurance.
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Average Cost Of Shingles Vaccine
The average shingles vaccine cost according to Amino.com is $366 if you do not have insurance depending on where you get the shot.
CDC listed the retail price of Zoster Vaccine Live at $212.67 excluding Federal excise tax, while its average retail price in various pharmacies is $268.84.
The following are the estimated cash retail price of 1 vial of Zostavax 0.65ml at popular pharmacies:
- Costco $223.93
How To Get A Shingles Vaccine Covered By Medicare
Once you have an insurance plan that covers shingles vaccines, purchasing them is the next step. Many pharmacies that provide vaccines do so under the standing order of a supervising physician. This is convenient for patients because it saves them a trip to the doctors office to acquire a prescription first for the vaccine.
Remember, only a pharmacy can bill Medicare Part D for your vaccine and provide you the best coverage, so in order to get the best price, you will want to get your vaccine in a pharmacy. If your pharmacy of choice does not have standing orders for the shingles vaccine, then you will want to visit your physician first to acquire a prescription.
Its possible to save money on shingles vaccines with a SingleCare pharmacy savings card. SingleCare can help uninsured or underinsured patients get shingles vaccines at a discounted price.
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Getting The Shingles Vaccine
The Shingrix vaccine is produced by GlaxoSmithKline and approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of shingles in adults 50 and older. The vaccine is administered in two doses, with the second shot given two to six months after you receive the first shot.
The shot works by boosting your bodys defenses against shingles. In clinical trials, Shingrix was 90 percent effective in preventing shingles.
You can get the Shingrix vaccine at the doctors office or a retail pharmacy with a prescription. Its administered as an injection in the upper arm. After the shot, you may experience pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site as well as muscle pain, tiredness, or headaches.
You must get the second dose two to six months after the first shot. You can sign up for second-dose reminders through the Shingrix website to help keep you on track.
Know Your Shingles Risk
You can get shingles at any age if youve had chickenpox.
But older adults and those who are immunocompromised get it most often. Two-thirds of shingles cases in Canada happen to people over 50 years old. The severity of shingles and its complications also increase with age.
Age is the most important risk factor.
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Shingles Vaccine Cost And Options
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox, the childhood disease. It remains in the person’s body after chickenpox passes and can reactivate later in life.
Once the virus reactivates, it travels to the skin where it causes blisters. Old age, poor immune function, and having chickenpox are risk factors for the reactivation of the virus.
The rash is the characteristic finding of shingles. It can appear on one side of the face or body. The rash contains blisters that will clear up in 2 to 4 weeks.
Before the rash develops, pain, itching, and tingling may affect the area where the rash will appear. These warning signs will appear a few days before the rash.
Other symptoms include fever, fatigue, and headache. Chills and an upset stomach are also common.
This disease can lead to serious complications. It can lead to eye problems such as blindness. Other complications include encephalitis, pneumonia, and skin infections.
In some cases, people can experience severe nerve pain after the rash has cleared. This type of pain can last months and even years after the rash passes. About 1 in 5 people may develop this symptom.
To reduce the risk of getting shingles, those at risk should get vaccinated. Shingrix and Zostovax are the two shingles vaccines available. Getting the shingles vaccine is a must as it’s the only way to protect against shingles.
Can You Get Shingles If You Had The Chickenpox Vaccine
It depends. Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is susceptible to shingles. When the chickenpox virus comes out of hiding and reactivates, it causes numbness, tingling, blisters, and sometimes flu-like symptoms. If you never had chickenpox because you were vaccinated, you run a very low risk of getting shingles.
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What Can I Do About The Pain
To help with the pain of shingles, your healthcare provider might have you take an over-the-counter pain medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .
Applying a medicated anti-itch lotion to the blisters might reduce the pain and itching. Placing cool compresses soaked in water mixed with white vinegar on the blisters and sores might also ease pain and itching.
If shingles causes severe pain, your healthcare provider might prescribe a stronger pain medicine.
How Do You Get Immunised Against Shingles
You can only get the shingles vaccine on its own, not as a combination vaccine. It is given as a needle.
Shingles vaccines include:
Note the Zostavax vaccine contains a small amount of the live virus. Some people may not be able to receive a live vaccine for medical reasons, please discuss with your doctor or immunisation provider for further information.
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How Are Cvs Pharmacy And Minuteclinic Different
At Pharmacy, vaccinations for adolescents through seniors are administered by a certified immunizing pharmacist. Age and state restrictions apply. No appointment necessary.
At MinuteClinic, vaccinations for children through seniors are administered by a medical provider. View wait times and schedule a visit online, or walk-in anytime.
CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic also at Target
How Much Do Vaccines Cost At Minuteclinic
MinuteClinic is a walk-in clinic that provides health screenings, treatment for common illnesses, and vaccinations for children, teens, and adults. Its located inside more than 1,100 CVS Pharmacy and Target locations in 33 states and Washington, D.C.
At MinuteClinic, the rules are a little different than at CVS Pharmacy. First, MinuteClinic doesnt offer COVID-19 vaccines. Many clinics still accept walk-ins, but some require appointments during the pandemic.
Lastly, unlike CVS Pharmacy, where pharmacists give shots, MinuteClinic is staffed by medical providers. That means a nurse practitioner or physician assistant will deliver your immunization instead of a pharmacist.
MinuteClinic accepts most insurance plans and lists its prices on its website. The prices represent the fee for a vaccine only. If you end up discussing other healthcare concerns during your vaccine appointment, you also may be charged for a separate medical visit.
Here are MinuteClinic cash prices for some of the most commonly requested vaccines, including:
|Commonly requested vaccines|
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Who Should Not Get Vaccinated Or Should Wait
- Patients with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a previous dose of Shingrix
- Patients who tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster virus. If you test negative, you should get the chickenpox vaccine.
- Patients who currently have shingles
- Patients who are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to get Shingrix.
How Much Does The Shingles Vaccine Cost
Shingles vaccines are not publicly funded in B.C. One dose of Zostavax costs about $200 each dose of Shingrix is about $150. Both vaccines are available at most travel clinics and pharmacies. Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers the cost of these vaccines.Get immunized against shingles by making an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist or travel clinic.
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What Are The Side Effects
The shingles vaccines are very safe.
Common side effects to the vaccines include headache as well as soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Itching and a rash may also occur after getting Zostavax® II. Other reactions that may occur after getting Shingrix® include fever, muscle soreness, fatigue, shivering, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is a very rare possibility, between one in 100,000 and one in a million, of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.
Is Vaccine Coverage Worse In The 12 States That Havent Expanded Their Medicaid Programs Than In Those That Have
Although it may seem that there could be less adult vaccine coverage in states that havent expanded Medicaid, that isnt the case. In fact, all of these states offer some vaccine coverage. Compared to the states that have expanded Medicaid, they dont fall behind due to the variation that still exists in those states.
For context, here are the 12 states that havent expanded Medicaid:
To give you a better idea of the variation among these non-expanded states, here are a few examples of the vaccine coverage they offer for adults:
Alabama Medicaid covers five of the recommended adult vaccines .
Mississippi Medicaid covers all 13 recommended vaccines.
Wyoming Medicaid provides flu shots for all adult members, but other vaccine coverage will depend on the plan you have.
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Don’t Overpay: Advice For Medicare Patients
Three out of four Americans eligible for the shingles vaccination still havent gotten it, according to the CDC. Not surprisingly, a 2015 report from the National Vaccine Program found that one of the main reasons adults skip recommended vaccines is the cost.
If youve been putting off getting your shingles shot because you were quoted a high price, check your Part D plan. You may be able to get it for less.
Confusion about insurance coverage for the vaccine can sometimes result in patients paying more than they should, Avitzur says.
Dont delay, as the consequences of shingles can be devastating, advises Avitzur, a neurologist who has seen firsthand the painful effects of lingering nerve damage.
Your best bet may be to get the shot at a pharmacy in your drug plans network. Youll still need to get a prescription from your doctor, but the pharmacy will bill your insurance company and youll pay the lowest out-of-pocket costs available under your plan.
If you would like to get vaccinated at your doctors office, ask up front about the cost. Does your doctor charge more to administer the shot than your plan allows? If so, youll be on the hook for the difference. Also see whether the office will bill your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan directly or work with a pharmacy in your network to handle the billing.