The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now provides a guide to Shingrix™ (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/index.html), a newly-licensed vaccine for shingles and related complications, recommended for healthy adults aged 50 years and older. It is recommended for adults who previously received the vaccine Zostavax and is now preferred.
What to know:
– Several “legal” sites exist on the Internet that report complications that may “include shingles” from Zostavax® vaccine since it contains live chickenpox virus.”
– Shingrix® is a recombinant vaccine that does not use live virus.
– Shingrix® is not meant to prevent chickenpox.
– Shingrix is given in two doses with the second dose following by 2 to 6 months.
– Complete Rx directions are here: https://www.gsksource.com/…/Presc…/Shingrix/pdf/SHINGRIX.PDF
– The earlier Zoster vaccine, Zostavax®, was said to be effective for 5 years, but the effect may be as short as 3 years. The protection is 70% against shingles for people between 50 and 59 years but is far less effective above the age of 80. Considering all ages, it cuts the chance of shingles by 51% and the risk of painful post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) by 67%.
– Shingrix offers 97% protection in people in their 50s and 60s and roughly 91% for people in their 70s and 80s.
– The two shots may or may not be covered, fully or in part, by insurance. The average cost has been in the range of $280 without considering deductibles and copayments.
– It is likely that Shingrix® will become the drug of choice for many physicians. NICHE called Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Meijer pharmacies. None had Shingrix available but all planned to order it soon.
– Last word: Ask your physician when Shingrix will become available.