Why Should I Get the New Shingles Vaccine?

IF YOU’RE A HEALTHY adult age 50 or above, you should get vaccinated against shingles, medical experts say. The vaccine they recommend is Shingrix. The issue is whether it’s available.

Shingrix – a relative newcomer to the vaccine market – is in high demand. With its more than 90 percent success in preventing shingles, older adults are impatient to roll up their sleeves. However, Shingrix shortages and wait lists have been going on for months. Now, pharmacists say Shingrix supplies are being replenished.

Here’s why seniors are so eager to get the Shingrix vaccine – despite reports of injection discomfort – and why experts strongly recommend taking steps to protect yourself from shingles.

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A New Shingles Vaccine: Prepare for Harsher Side Effects

IF YOU’RE 50 OR OLDER, you’re advised to get immunized to protect yourself from shingles. If the new shingles vaccine made you feel worse than you expected, you’re not alone. Skin rash, joint pain, flu-like symptoms, headaches and fatigue are some complaints from patients who’ve had the recently approved Shingrix vaccine. Side effects can last two or three days, and the injection site in the upper arm can hurt.

The upside is Shingrix provides stronger protection against shingles – a painful condition that wreaks havoc on the nervous system – than previous vaccines. As people get older, they become increasingly vulnerable to developing shingles. Temporary vaccine side effects pale in comparison to shingles’ long-lasting effects on the body, experts says.

One of every three people in the U.S. will eventually develop shingles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Caused by the varicella zoster virus – also responsible for chickenpox – shingles is notoriously painful. Once someone has chickenpox, the inactive virus dwells in the body. Decades later, the virus can become active again, now causing shingles.

Full story at US News