Are you protected against shingles? Whether you have received the first vaccine available for shingles prevention (Zostavax) or not, you are likely not fully protected from developing the shingles rash.
As of October 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new vaccine, Shingrix, to be used against shingles. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) promptly followed with their recommendation that everyone 50 years of age or older receive this vaccine. This recommendation applies to everyone, including those who have previously been vaccinated with Zostavax.
The FDA and CDC both recommend that everyone 50 years of age of older receive this vaccine.
Shingrix is a significant advancement in the prevention of this painful rash. The older vaccine has an effectiveness rate of ~51% depending on how old you are when you receive the vaccination. The new vaccination has an effectiveness rate of ~97% against ever developing this rash if the shot is received between ages of 50-69 and 91% effective for people 70 and older.
This data is so impressive that many pharmacies will no longer provide the previous vaccination to patients. Another notable difference between the two vaccines is that the new vaccine does require a follow-up booster vaccination. This booster should be scheduled between 2-6 months after the first vaccine is administered.
Many insurance companies are deciding to cover this vaccine on the prescription drug plan because is it so effective. With the vaccine being relatively new, however, some plans are still in the process of deciding how it will be covered in their formulary. The best way to learn if this vaccination is covered on your plan is to ask your pharmacist to process this vaccination for you the next time you are in the store.
I strongly recommend all of my patients aged 50 and above receive this new vaccination series.
We have this vaccine readily available and can be administered without an appointment! Simply come by any of our Collier Drug Stores and we will be happy to take care of you!