By Dave Clark, Pharm. D., BCPS
Earlier this year Shingrix, a new shingles vaccine, became available. Shingrix offers significantly better protection against shingles, a blistering skin eruption that typically affects people older than 50.
Shingrix is the first new shingles vaccine in more than a decade and only the second to ever be approved (Zostavax was the first) by the Food and Drug Administration. Shingles vaccination is the only way to prevent shingles and other painful complications from shingles. Quick facts:
- Two doses of Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles.
- Shingrix is preferred over Zostavax.
- Shingrix is recommended even if you have had shingles, received Zostavax, or are not sure if you ever had chickenpox.
- If you previously had shingles, Shingrix will help prevent future occurrences of shingles.
- Medicare Part D plans cover the Shingrix vaccine. Many private health insurance plans also cover the vaccine. Contact your insurer to make sure you have coverage.
Studies have shown that Shingrix is safe; however, temporary side effects are common and may affect your ability to do normal daily activity for 2 to 3 days. The most common side effects are a soreness and swelling of the arm where the shot was given. Other side effects include muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever and nausea.
If you are 60 years of age or older, we recommend you discuss Shingrix vaccination with your New West Physicians doctor.