Good news for preventing shingles! New Shingrix vaccine is better and lasts longer
HOW MUCH BETTER?
The new Shingrix vaccine was just approved for the prevention of shingles in patients 50 and older. Its efficacy rates are nearly double the older, live shingles vaccine, Zostavax .
In clinical trials, Shingrix was shown to prevent shingles in 91% of patients who received it (versus 50% efficacy with the Zostavax vaccine,) and that efficacy rate was maintained even in older populations (people in their 70s, 80s and older.) Zostavax’s efficacy rates decreases dramatically as patients get older.
WHAT IS SHINGLES?
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful, blistering rash that develops as the result of the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox. No one knows what triggers the reactivation, but getting older plays a part, as aging can weaken our immune system. Even once the rash has resolved, many people experience nerve pain that can last for weeks or even month. Shingles can develop decades after the initial chickenpox infection and is most common in adults over 50. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly one million people annually will develop shingles, and 1 in 3 people in the US will develop it in their lifetime.
WHO SHOULD GET SHINGRIX?
Everyone age 50 and older should get the vaccine or talk to their healthcare provider if they have questions. Even if you have already had the Zostavax vaccine, you should consider Shingrix.
WHAT’S THE PROCESS?
The Shingrix vaccine is administered as a series of two injections, given 60 days apart. Each dose is $165 (for members. Non-members pay $215 per shot). We recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medicine after your first injection to help minimize any pain at the injection site.
Call the office to schedule or check with your healthcare provider if you have additional questions.