Why Not Get The Vaccine
Shingrix is a marked improvement over its predecessor, more than 90 percent effective in preventing against the shingles virus.
Health professionals, from family doctors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , that most people over the age of 50 get vaccinated.
Yet only about a third of people over the age of 60 got the vaccination in 2016.
So whats stopping people?
One issue might be cost for people who arent sure whether their insurance will cover the immunization.
Shingrix costs about $280 for both shots and Medicare Part D, which some people 65 and over have, will cover that cost, said Carandang. But individually its best to talk to your insurance company.
Carandang also points out that even for those with a high deductible plan, some providers will still cover the cost of the shots for the sake of health maintenance.
Jain adds that more insurers are covering the cost of Shingrix, even for patients whove already been vaccinated with Zostavax, simply because the new vaccination is so much more effective.
Another reason some people may be hesitant about getting vaccinated stems from the side effects of getting these shots.
The side effects of getting the Shingrix vaccine can include muscle aches, fatigue, and headaches, said Carandang. These are common and they can happen with pretty much any vaccine.
While the pain from getting injected may be a deterrent, the potential pain that could come with a shingles infection can be worse.
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.
Who Should Get Shingrix
Healthy adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. You should get Shingrix even if in the past you
- had shingles
- are not sure if you had chickenpox
There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.
If you had shingles in the past, you can get Shingrix to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time that you need to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.
You can get Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past. Studies show that more than 99% of Americans 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they dont remember having the disease. Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus . After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles.
Shingrix is available in doctors offices and pharmacies. To find doctors offices or pharmacies near you that offer the vaccine, visit HealthMap Vaccine Finderexternal icon.
If you have questions about Shingrix, talk with your healthcare provider.
* A shingles vaccine called Zostavax is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. If you had Zostavax in the past, you should still get Shingrix. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best time to get Shingrix.
You May Like: Where To Get The Shingrix Vaccine
Uncommon Rare And Very Rare Adverse Events
Uncommon adverse events occur in 0.1% to less than 1% of vaccinees. Rare and very rare adverse events occur, respectively, in 0.01% to less than 0.1% and less than 0.01% of vaccinees.
Both HZ vaccines are safe with serious adverse events reported very rarely in immunocompetent individuals.
Recurrence or exacerbation of herpes zoster ophthalmicus following LZV vaccination has been reported very rarely, involving several cases world-wide following LZV immunization. Following a causality assessment of seven cases of HZO which were temporally associated with the administration of LZV, NACI concluded that there was insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the administration of LZV in individuals with a history of HZO. More evidence is required for further assessment of risk related to HZO recurrence in LZV recipients. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to assess the risk related to HZO recurrence following RZV recipients.
See Contraindications and Precautions if considering vaccinating a person with previous HZO.
For more information, refer to Vaccine safety in Part 2 and the product monograph in Health Canada’s Drug Product Database.
Available Vaccines And Vaccination Campaigns
Since 2008, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that most Americans aged 60 and older get the shingles vaccine. A newer recommendation was issued in 2018 with the licensure of a new vaccine: now most Americans age 50 and older are recommended to get Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted .
In adults 50-69 years old, Shingrix reduces risk of shingles by more than 96%. For those 70 and older, the vaccine is 91.3% effective at preventing shingles. It very similarly reduces the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia. Modeling studies project that protection will wane to 0 by 19 years after immunization. Study of the expected duration of protection is ongoing.
The antigen in Shingrix is a surface protein of the varicella zoster virus produced by culturing genetically engineered Chinese hamster ovary cells. Vaccination consists of two doses of vaccine, given at months 0 and 2-6.
The older shingles vaccine is a live, attenuated vaccine. It was licensed in 2006. The generic name of the vaccine is Zoster Vaccine, Live . It is still available, although Shingrix is recommended over Zostavax because of its superior effectiveness and duration of protection.
People who have previously been vaccinated with Zostavax are recommended to vaccinate with Shingrix.
You May Like: Where Can I Get My Meningitis Vaccine
Learn How A Trip To Your Local Pharmacy Can Protect You Against A Painful Shingles Infection
Anyone who has ever had chickenpox is at risk for shingles. Both conditions are caused by the varicella-zoster virus. After a bout of chickenpox resolves, this virus remains in the body in a dormant state, taking up residence in nerve tissues. Years later, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles. Its estimated that one in three people will experience shingles during their lifetime.
Shingles causes a red, blistering, painful rash that often appears in a strip on one side of the torsothough it can also occur on the face, neck, and around the eyes. The pain can be intense. People may also experience itching, burning, tingling, and numbness. Between 10 and 18 percent of people with shingles experience a complication called postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, nerve pain that lasts for months or even years.
Fortunately, there is a vaccine that can protect you against shingles, and you can get this vaccine at most pharmacies. Getting vaccinated at a pharmacy can be helpful to people who may want to avoid medical offices during the coronavirus pandemic.
Preventive care is important The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the healthcare system in a number of ways. One of those ways is a decrease in the number of people who are usingor who are able to usepreventive care. Preventive care refers to routine checkups, screenings, vaccinations, and other healthcare services that focus on preventing disease or monitoring your overall health.
What Are The Shingles Vaccines
There are 2 vaccines, Shingrix® and Zostavax® II, that protect against shingles. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Zostavax® II contains a weakened form of the virus while Shingrix® contains only a part of the virus. The vaccines are approved by Health Canada.
Read Also: What Vaccines Are You Given At Birth
For Patients Who Previously Received Zostavax
Zostavax is no longer available for use in the United States, as of November 18, 2020. Consider the patients age and when he or she received Zostavax to determine when to vaccinate with Shingrix. Studies examined the safety of Shingrix vaccination five or more years after Zostavax vaccination. Shorter intervals were not studied, but there are no theoretical or data concerns to indicate that Shingrix would be less safe or effective if administered less than five years after a patient received Zostavax.You may consider an interval shorter than five years between Zostavax and Shingrix based on the age at which the patient received Zostavax. Differences in efficacy between Shingrix and Zostavax are most pronounced among older patients. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of Zostavax wanes substantially over time, leaving recipients with reduced protection against herpes zoster. For example, the vaccine efficacy among adults age 70 to 79 years and adults age 80 years and older is 41% and 18%, respectively, on average during the first three years following Zostavax vaccination.You should wait at least 8 weeks after a patient received Zostavax to administer Shingrix.
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.
Read Also: Why Are Vaccines Important To Public Health
Who Should Not Get The Shingles Vaccine
If you are getting Shingrix®, speak with your health care provider if you have had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or to any part of the vaccine.
If you are getting Zostavax® II, speak with a health care provider if you:
- Have had a life-threatening reaction to any part of the vaccine including gelatin or neomycin
- Have an immune system weakened by disease or medical treatment
- Have active, untreated tuberculosis
- Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Women should avoid becoming pregnant for 3 months after getting Zostavax® II
There is no need to delay getting immunized because of a cold or other mild illness. However, if you have concerns, speak with your health care provider.
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.
You May Like: Where To Get Vaccination Records
Who Should Get The Shingles Vaccine
Shingrix® is recommended for adults 50 years of age and older. This includes those who have had shingles or received Zostavax® II. You should wait at least 1 year before getting Shingrix® if you had shingles or received Zostavax® II.
Zostavax® II may be given to adults 50 years of age and older who cannot get Shingrix® due to a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or to any part of the vaccine.
Shingrix Dosage And Schedule
Shingrix should be administered to adults age 50 years and older as a two-dose series , 2 to 6 months apart .
If more than 6 months have elapsed since the first dose of Shingrix, you should administer the second dose as soon as possible. However, you do not need to restart the vaccine series.
If the second dose is given less than 4 weeks after the first dose, the second dose should be considered invalid. A valid second dose should be administered 2 months after the invalid dose .
Don’t Miss: How Often To Get A Meningitis Vaccine
What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine
Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles. CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix , separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.
Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. Two doses of Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Protection stays above 85% for at least the first four years after you get vaccinated.
Obstacles To Getting Vaccinated
Despite the fact that the small, but vocal, group of individuals who oppose vaccinations remains strong, Jain says she hasnt encountered much opposition to getting vaccinated among her patients.
A lot of patients will actually come to me asking how they can get the shingles vaccination, so I actually have experienced the opposite, she said. Theres a very small percentage of patients, Id say under 10 percent, that are very averse to getting vaccinations, though.
Jain said that with these patients, their concerns often center around possible adverse effects from the vaccination, fears that theyll contract shingles by getting the vaccination, or the belief that since theyve never had the illness, they dont need the vaccine.
Another big concern that patients have is cost, Jain told Healthline in March 2018. Zostavax cost $213, and Shingrix costs about $280 out of pocket.
Prices have fluctuated slightly in 2019, with Shingrix at $185 per injection (.
She explained that even insurance or Medicare coverage doesnt solve the problem.
The issue is that Medicare Part B is not covering it, Medicare Part D is covering part of it, and Medicaid may or may not cover it it really depends on the insurer and the insurance plan, she said. So, I think cost is also a big barrier for patients as well.
You May Like: Can Vaccinated People Get Sick
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.
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.
Also Check: When Will The 2020-2021 Flu Vaccine Be Available
What To Know About The Shingles Vaccine
Who needs it? The CDC recommends that everyone 50 and older get Shingrix, even if they had the earlier recommended vaccine Zostavax, or if theyve already had a bout of shingles. Older adults should also get this vaccine, whether or not they remember having had chickenpox as a child. Why? More than 99 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have been exposed to the varicella-zoster virus, even if they dont recall getting chickenpox.
How often? The CDC recommends that older adults, as described above, get this vaccine, which is given in two doses spaced two to six months apart. But it remains to be seen if the agency will recommend that older adults get it again, say, after its effectiveness starts to wane four years after their first inoculation.
Why you need it: 1 in 3 people will get painful, occasionally debilitating shingles, usually after age 50, and the risk increases with age. By age 85, half of adults will have experienced at least one outbreak.