How Do You Get The Vaccine And Should You Get It
Youll have to get a prescription from your physician, pick up the vaccine, then return for the injection.
But should you consider getting it? While thats something youll need to discuss with your doctor, according to Quach, one thing is clear. The older you are, the more benefit youre going to derive from this vaccine.
Debbie Airhart will certainly be looking into the new shot, both for herself, and her parents. I would definitely consider it, she says. I wouldnt wish shingles on anybody.
Why More Adults Arent Getting The Super
Despite such impressive results, only about 35 percent of adults 60 and older reported receiving the shingles vaccine in 2018. Whats behind the hesitation? A couple of things. First, says Kristin Christensen, M.D., an internal medicine specialist affiliated with Penn Medicine, in Radnor, Pennsylvania, some of us dont take shingles as seriously as we should: People think, If its not going to kill me I dont need it, without realizing that singles can be incapacitating, causing severe pain that can really limit peoples functioning.
Whats more, difficulty in getting the vaccine may have discouraged those who sought out the vaccine earlier on. The company that makes the vaccine couldnt keep up with the initial demand, resulting in long waiting lists at pharmacies that dispensed the vaccines.
Then theres the hit to your wallet. Shingrix costs on average about $195 per injection, and two injections are required. But unlike the flu and pneumonia vaccines, which are fully covered as preventive services under Medicare Part B, the shingles shot falls under the prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D. Depending on your plan, even after youve met your annual deductible youll likely end up shelling out money for it. If youre between the ages of 50 and 65, and covered by a private health insurance, ask your doctor about getting your vaccine now, while youve got good coverage, Schaffner suggests.
How Often Can I Get The Shingrix Vaccination
How often can I get the Shingrix vaccination
National Advisory Committee on Immunization has no current recommendation for booster doses of either shingles vaccine. It is not known whether booster doses of shingles vaccines are beneficial. This is an area of ongoing research.
The current schedule for Shingrix ® vaccine is 2 doses, 2 to 6 months apart.
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Make A Plan To Get 2 Doses
- You can get Shingrix at your doctors office or pharmacy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting Shingrix.
- Plan to get your second dose of Shingrix 2 to 6 months after your first dose.
Five years later, I still take prescription medication for pain. My shingles rash quickly developed into open, oozing sores that in only a few days required me to be hospitalized. I could not eat, sleep, or perform even the most minor tasks. It was totally debilitating. The pain still limits my activity levels to this day.
A 63-year-old harpist who was unable to continue playing due to shingles
Who Should Not Get Shingrix
You should not get Shingrix if you:
- have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix
- tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster virus. If you test negative, you should get chickenpox vaccine.
- currently have shingles
- currently are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to get Shingrix.
If you have a minor acute illness, such as a cold, you may get Shingrix. But if you have a moderate or severe acute illness, you should usually wait until you recover before getting the vaccine. This includes anyone with a temperature of 101.3°F or higher.
The side effects of the Shingrix are temporary, and usually last 2 to 3 days. While you may experience pain for a few days after getting Shingrix, the pain will be less severe than having shingles and the complications from the disease.
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Is It Possible To Get Shingles Twice
Most people who get shingles only experience it one time in their lives. However, it is possible to get shingles more than once . This is known as recurrent shingles. Getting vaccinated can help minimize the chance that this will happen.
These are only a few of the many questions people may have about Shingrix. To learn more about the vaccine and shingles, individuals can consult a medical professional.
The Shot: Shingles Vaccine
How often:Two shots separated by two to six months.
What to expect: Your average vaccination soreness, nothing major.
After you turn 50, getting vaccinated for shingles should be on your radar. The shingles vaccine a.k.a. Shingrix is more than 90% effective at protecting against shingles and its complications, and 85% effective for the four years after you get vaccinated. Shingles is a two-vaccine course, Dr. Wolfe says. I’ve often given shingles dose one with the flu shot and shingles dose two with a pneumonia shot, and that saves patients visits. It’s quite safe to be combined.
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More Common Side Effects
The more common side effects of Shingrix can include:
- pain, redness, and swelling at site of injection*
- dizziness or fainting
- flu-like symptoms, including fever, shivering, and tiredness
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If theyre more severe or dont go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
* For more information about this side effect, see Side effect details below.
How Does The Shingles Vaccine Work
The vaccine recommended for most people is a live vaccine called Zostavax. It contains a weakened chickenpox virus . It’s similar , but not identical, to the chickenpox vaccine.
People with a weakened immune system cannot have live vaccines. They will be offered a non-live vaccine called Shingrix. It activates the immune system but also contains an ingredient called an adjuvant, which helps to boost the response to the vaccine.
Very occasionally, people develop chickenpox following shingles vaccination . Talk to a GP if this happens to you.
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People Who Shouldnt Have The Vaccination
There are 2 shingles vaccines available. One contains a weakened version of the live shingles virus.
The live vaccine is the one that is routinely used in the UK but people who have weakened immune systems, for example due to cancer treatment, should not have it. They should have the inactivated shingles vaccine. Your doctor will advise whether this applies to you. Further information is available on the Shingrix vaccine.
If youve had a severe reaction to any of the substances that go into the vaccine, you shouldnt have it. Again, your GP will advise you.
The live shingles vaccine used in the UK contains porcine gelatine. Some people may not want this vaccine but it is the recommended vaccine unless you cannot have it because you have a weakened immune system.
If you have the Zostavax vaccine, you will just need one injection. If you are not eligible for the live vaccine, you will need 2 doses of the Shingrix vaccine 2 months apart to give you the best protection. Once your course is completed, you will not need any more shingles vaccines.
Who Is At Risk For Shingles
Anyone who had chickenpox can develop shingles. As you age, the antibodies you developed to the chickenpox virus begin to fade. By the time you reach your 60s, you have few antibodies left to protect you. Any major health event can then lead to a reactivation of the virus.
Shingles is most likely to develop in someone whose immune system is compromised. This includes those suffering from such conditions as COPD, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, or another chronic condition. Medication that suppresses the immune system, such as radiation, chemotherapy or steroids, also puts individuals at increased risk. For some, age itself is the greatest risk factor. After the age of 50, the lifetime risk of developing shingles is 30 percent.
Shingles should be treated like any active viral infection. If you are experiencing active symptoms, its especially important to stay away from those with weakened immune systems and those who have never had chickenpox.
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Shingrix Shingles Vaccine: Side Effects Shortages Age And More
Americans seem to have a love-hate relationship with the new shingles vaccine.
Love, because Shingrix which offers much better protection against the painful rash than its predecessor Zostavax is so popular that there are shortages of the vaccine.
Hate, because people are also complaining the shot is painful and comes with unpleasant side effects.
My arm feels like Mike Tyson punched it 9 times, one man tweeted last month after getting the new vaccine.
Today, I got the shingles vaccination. Now my left arm hurts so much, a woman tweeted this week.
The Shingles vaccine is 97% effective, which is awesome. The side effects are killing me, which sucks . Still better than getting Shingles by a
Others complained of fever, muscle aches, feeling lousy & virusy and suffering like Ive been hit by a Mack truck.
Its not their imagination.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Shingrix
Studies show that Shingrix is safe. The vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles. As a result, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. The side effects may affect your ability to do normal daily activities for 2 to 3 days.
Most people got a sore arm with mild or moderate pain after getting Shingrix, and some also had redness and swelling where they got the shot. Some people felt tired, had muscle pain, a headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, or nausea. About 1 out of 6 people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms went away on their own in about 2 to 3 days. Side effects were more common in younger people.
You might have a reaction to the first or second dose of Shingrix, or both doses. If you experience side effects, you may choose to take over-the-counter pain medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
If you experience side effects from Shingrix, you should report them to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System . Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS websiteexternal icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
If you have any questions about side effects from Shingrix, talk with your doctor.
The shingles vaccine does not contain thimerosal .
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Is There Anyone Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
The shingles vaccine is a live virus and, therefore, should not be given to anyone with a weakened immune system. This includes individuals who are being treated with radiation or chemotherapy or who are on steroid medications. The vaccine also should not be given to anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to the ingredients in the vaccine, so talk to your doctor about your specific health situation.
Who Shouldnt Get The Shingles Vaccine
There are a few situations in which shingles vaccination may not be right for you. You should not get Shingrix if youve ever had a severe reaction to a vaccine. This means you had trouble breathing or swelling in your mouth or airway, a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.
You should also skip Shingrix if:
- You have allergies to any parts of the vaccine. These include gelatin and the antibiotic neomycin. If you have other allergies, tell your doctor or pharmacist about them before you get Shingrix.
- You currently have shingles or another illness. You can get the vaccine when youre well.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should wait until youve stopped breastfeeding to get vaccinated.
- You happened to test negative for VZV, the virus that causes chickenpox. If youre older than 50, you probably had chickenpox even if you dont remember it. The CDC does not recommend testing for this. However, if a blood test shows youve never had the childhood illness, you should get the chickenpox vaccine instead.
If you have a disease or take medications that affect your immune system, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of Shingrix.
Its an individualized decision based on factors such as the specific medications and conditions of the person sitting in front of you, Kistler says. She often consults with her patients specialist doctors to make decisions about Shingrix.
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What Are The Side Effects
Because the vaccine helps your body create a strong defense against shingles, you are likely to have temporary side effects from getting the shots. You may experience side effects after either dose or after both doses, which may include:
- Redness, soreness, swelling at the site of the vaccination.
- Tiredness, muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain or nausea.
About one out of six people who got Shingrix experienced side effects that prevented them from doing regular activities. Symptoms usually went away on their own in about two to three days.3
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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Older Adults Still Need Their Shots For The Flu Shingles And More
As we age, the immune system slows down, chronic conditions become more common, and the body may be less able to fight off infection and more vulnerable to its complications.
Thats where vaccines come in. These immunity boosters help prevent serious diseases at any age.
Vaccines are not only for kids or teens, says David Kim, M.D., director of the division of vaccines and immunization at the Department of Health and Human Services. If youre older, youre at a higher risk for certain vaccine-preventable diseases.
Here are the shots you may need, when to get them, and why theyre critical for keeping you and your loved ones healthy.
Ask The Expert: Should You Get The Shingles Vaccine
If you suffered through chickenpox as a child, there is no doubt that you never want to experience that type of discomfort again. While its rare to get chickenpox twice, for many the chickenpox virus reappears years later in the form of another painful disease: shingles. In fact, there are approximately one million new cases of shingles each year. Drs. Alpana Goswami and Janna Lachtchinina, board certified internists, discuss the facts about shingles and the benefits of the shingles vaccine.
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Whats Different About The New Vaccine
Experts say that based on data from clinical trials, the new shingles shot, Shingrix, differs from Zostavax, an older vaccine thats been in use in Canada for about 10 years, in two main ways. First of all, says Dr. Caroline Quach, medical lead, infection prevention and control at CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal, it offers greater protection 90 to 95 percent versus 60 to 70 percent. And its nearly as effective when given at age 80 or 90 as at 50.
When you hit 70, the older vaccine tended to be less effective, Quach explains.
The only unknown is how long the protection lasts, she adds, since so far, studies have tracked participants for only four years. In other words, it may turn out a booster shot is needed.
Shingrix can also be given even if youve already had the older vaccine, and some family physicians, like Dr. Karen Cunningham, of London, Ont., anticipate that in such cases, theyll recommend doing exactly that.
The downsides? The newer vaccine needs to be given in two doses, two to six months apart , and is more likely to cause temporary side-effects such as fever and headache or redness and swelling at the injection site .
Shingrix is also more expensive $244 plus any dispensing and vaccination fees, versus $177 for the competitor although some private plans may pick up the tab.
Very Common And Common Adverse Events
Very common adverse events occur in 10% or more of vaccinees. Common adverse events occur in 1% to less than 10% of vaccinees.
Injection site reactions are very commonly reported for both LZV and RZV. For LZV recipients the frequency is slightly higher in adults aged < 60 years. For all ages, the majority of these events were rated mild or moderate in intensity and lasted less than 2 days.
Due to the adjuvant in RZV, which induces a high cellular immune response and helps address the natural age-related decline in immunity, RZV is more reactogenic than LZV.
Injection site AEs are very commonly reported by recipients of RZV. Approximately 80% report injection-site pain and approximately 30% report redness at the site of injection.
Systemic adverse events, primarily fatigue and myalgia are common in LZV recipients and very common in RZV recipients . For RZV, they include headache .
Local and systemic reactions that were severe enough to interfere with normal activities have been more frequently reported following the receipt of RZV than LZV. However, these reactions have been temporary . Patient education on the short-term reactogenicity of the RZV is recommended prior to vaccine administration to promote adherence to the second dose.
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Simultaneous Administration With Other Vaccines
RZV and LZV may be administered concomitantly with other live vaccines given by the parenteral, oral, or intranasal routes. For concomitant parenteral injections, different injection sites and separate needles and syringes should be used.
In general, inactivated vaccines including RZV may be administered concomitantly with, or at any time before or after, other inactivated vaccines or live vaccines protecting against a different disease.
LZV may be given at any time before or after live oral or intranasal vaccines. If two live parenteral vaccines are not administered concomitantly, there should be a period of at least 4 weeks before the second live parenteral vaccine is given.
Concomitant administration of pneumococcal 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine and LZV has not resulted in decreased efficacy and so the two vaccines can be given concomitantly.
For more information, refer to Timing of Vaccine Administration in Part 1.