Countless Reasons to Get the Shingles Vaccine
Hawthorne Pharmacy cares deeply about the health of our community. After all, that is our core business. And an important way that we promote the health of those who call our neighborhoods home is with vaccines.
We offer vaccines for everything from the flu and pneumonia to meningococcal and COVID-19. One of the more common viruses that affects our community, particularly the older adults in our community, is the shingles virus. Fortunately, the shingles vaccine is incredibly effective, which is just one of the reasons you should plan to be vaccinated if you fall within one of the recommended groups.
What is Shingles?
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, the varicella zoster virus. For unknown reasons, many years later, the virus becomes active again and causes a painful skin rash, often with blisters. The rash develops on one side of the body or face, and it is preceded by pain, itching, or tingling a few days prior to its appearance on the skin’s surface.
Shingles can also cause lasting nerve damage. One of the more common complications of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which causes long-term nerve pain. PHN affects older adults with shingles more than it does younger adults, and the pain can last several months or even years. It will generally go away on its own, but you can talk to your primary care physician about ways to treat and manage pain from PHN. And don’t hesitate to ask our pharmacists any questions you might have.
Who Does Shingles Affect?
Anyone who has been exposed to chickenpox can develop shingles, but it is most common in people over the age of 50. Consequently, the shingles vaccination is recommended for healthy people 50 years of age or older. But the vaccine is also recommended for individuals with compromised immune systems.
Additionally, it's recommended that you receive the vaccine even if you are unsure if you’ve had chicken pox or if you previously received the Zostavax vaccine. Your primary care physician can help you decide if the vaccine is right for you.
It’s important to note that while you cannot get shingles from someone with the virus, if you’ve never had chicken pox or the chicken pox vaccine, you can get chicken pox from a person with shingles. Covering the rash and washing your hands often will help prevent an infected person from spreading the virus.
Is the Vaccine Effective?
1 in 3 people will get shingles in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The shingles vaccine, which has the brand name of Shingrix®, is highly effective at preventing an individual from becoming infected with the virus. In fact, the vaccine is proven to be more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN.
The vaccine is administered in two doses, preferably two to six months apart, and the side effects are generally mild. So, don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the statistics—get your shingles vaccine at Hawthorne today!
What Are the Costs of the Vaccine?
Medicate Part D covers the cost of the shingles vaccine, and many private insurers cover some or all of the cost for those over 50. Further, for qualifying low-income individuals, programs that help offset out-of-pocket costs may be available through the vaccine’s manufacturer (GlaxoSmithKline) or through non-profit organizations.
If you have any questions or concerns about the cost of the shingles vaccine, check with your insurance provider or ask one of our friendly associates.
Schedule Your Vaccine Today!
There are myriad reasons to protect yourself from shingles and its most common side effect, PHN, with a simple vaccine. And, at Hawthorne Pharmacy, we’re here to make it as easy as possible for you to receive that vaccine. As always, we gladly accept walk-ins for vaccines, including the shingles vaccine.
You can save time by downloading and completing our Immunization Consent Form. Simply bring it with you on the day of your vaccine and you’ll be one step closer to protecting yourself from shingles.