You are at high risk for shingles if you have ever had chickenpox. Varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox and other diseases, is present in every body cell. It usually goes dormant but can occasionally resurface later in life as shingles.
Shingles may start as a burning sensation or tingling sensation. It can then progress to severe pain, headaches and a rash. It can last for several weeks. Postherpetic neuralgia, a form of nerve pain that can last for several weeks, is a common symptom of shingles.
You know someone who has suffered from shingles, and you want to prevent it from happening to you. You can get the shingles vaccine to help you do exactly that.
Who should have the shingles vaccination?
The risk of developing shingles increases as the immune system becomes weaker. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all adults over 50 receive the shingles vaccine.
Although shingles can be contracted from anyone, the CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if it has happened before. However, most people only get it once.
Before you get the shingles vaccine, consult your primary care physician if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction. If you are unable to wait, get it.
- Are you currently suffering from chickenpox, shingles or both?
- In the eight weeks before the vaccination, you received the chickenpox shot
- Feel sick and feel feverish
- Are you pregnant?
Are you unsure if your child had chickenpox? The shingles vaccine can be obtained. If you want to be certain that you are immune to the virus, you can have a blood test. If you haven’t had chickenpox, you didn’t get it. If you don’t have the vaccine, your doctor will recommend getting it.
If in doubt, talk to your doctor about the timing and pros and cons of getting vaccinated.
Is it possible to get a COVID-19 and shingles vaccines?
Both vaccines can be obtained, but not simultaneously. COVID-19 vaccines have not been studied extensively enough to determine how they might interact with each other.
The CDC recommends that you wait 14 days after receiving one vaccine. If you have them all at once, finishing each one on time is fine.
What shingles vaccine should I get?
Shingrix, a recombinant vaccine against shingles, is currently the only available shingles vaccine in the United States. Shingrix was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2017. It is recommended for adults over 50 years old.
Shingrix is more effective than Zostavax (a vaccine discontinued in 2020). Shingrix is still available for those who have had Zostavax.
The injection will be administered to your upper arm muscle. Two doses of full vaccination are required, each spaced over two to six months.
What side effects can the shingles vaccine cause?
As your body reacts to the shingles vaccine, side effects may occur. Some people may be sidelined for up to three days. Side effects are more common in younger adults than older adults, as their immune systems are stronger and more resistant to vaccines.
Some people experience side effects after only one shot. Others have reactions to both. Side effects could include:
- Redness or swelling around the injection site
- Sore arm
- Fever and chills
- upset stomach, nausea
You can get relief by taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Side effects that can cause serious complications are rare. They usually result from an allergic reaction. You should seek immediate medical attention if you have symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your throat, face or neck, or swelling in the mouth.
After a study found an increase in Guillain Barre Syndrome risk within 42 days after receiving Shingrix, the FDA issued a new warning label for Shingrix in March 2021. Guillain Barre can cause muscle weakness or paralysis. While most people recover completely, some suffer from permanent nerve damage. The FDA states that the vaccine has many benefits, outweighing the risks.
How long does the protection last?
Shingrix can be taken in two doses and is effective for adults 50-69 years old. It also works well for people 70-years and older.
Experts believe the vaccine offers greater protection than 85% for four years. However, many experts think that it may offer much greater protection. It is not recommended to get a booster shot at this time.
What is the cost of the shingles vaccine?
Shingrex is covered under some health plans, but not all. It is not covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. It is covered in most cases by Medicare prescription drugs plans (Part D).
While Medicaid or private insurance policies may cover the cost of this treatment, copays could apply. Under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance policies must cover preventive healthcare in full. This includes vaccinations. Age and provider network may impact the rules. To ensure you don’t get caught unaware, check with your insurance company first.
It can cost up to $300 to get two vaccines without insurance. GlaxoSmithKline is the manufacturer of Shingrix and offers vaccine assistance programs to those who are eligible.
Where do I get a shingles vaccination?
A shingles vaccine can be obtained at any place you receive other vaccines. This includes your doctor’s office and a pharmacy. To find out if the vaccine is available, call your pharmacy.