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Things to Know Before Getting a Shingles Vaccine

Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. It can affect different areas of the body depending on which nerves are involved. The first symptom of shingles is typically pain or sensitivity in a broad area on one side of the body. This may be accompanied by tingling, itching, aching, burning, or deep shooting pain in the area.

Often, about one to three days after this pain begins a rash of raised red bumps or blisters will erupt on the skin. These blisters will fill with pus and then become scabs in about ten to twelve days. Some people will not have this rash and will only experience the pain. The rash will disappear and the scabs will fall off in about two or three weeks.

If you are over the age of 60 you are more likely to develop shingles and for this reason, a vaccination is recommended. If your doctor has recommended that you get a shingles vaccination, there are a few things that you should know beforehand. Here are 5 things that you should know before you get a shingles vaccination.

1. How Effective is the Shingles Vaccine?

Many people believe that if they get the shingles vaccination that they are guaranteed to not get shingles. However, this is not the case. The effectiveness of the shingles vaccination depends on the age of the patient. Research has shown that people who begin getting the shot at age 50 will develop a stronger resistance to the disease. Typically, the shot is recommended for those aged 60 and above. The overall effectiveness for the shingles vaccination is about 70 percent for those aged 60 and this percentage will drop the older the patient is.


2. PHN Protection

One of the reasons to consider the shingles vaccination is because if you get shingles it can lead to a more serious condition known as PHN. PHN occurs in roughly 10 percent of people who have shingles will develop the more serious PHN. PHN occurs as the virus that causes shingles affects the nerves.

It can cause depression and even eye issues if the optical nerves are affected. While not everyone who gets shingles will get PHN, since PHN can be so serious it does make getting a shingles vaccine a good idea, especially for those who are over the age of 60.


3. How Long Does the Shingles Vaccination Last?

Unfortunately, the shingles vaccination is not a one and done type of vaccination.

This vaccination will wear off after a period of time. While many other vaccinations have a specific set of time that they are good for, the amount of time the shingles vaccination lasts is difficult to determine.

This means that it is difficult to know how long the shot lasts and a person who is susceptible to getting the shingles should see a doctor regularly in order to determine when it is time for their next booster.


4. Price

It is also important to know that the price of shingles vaccination is not cheap.

Since the shot is recommended for patients age 60 and over, most insurance plans will not cover the vaccination if you are younger than this. The average price for a shingles vaccination is roughly $200.

For this reason, it is very important to check with your insurance company before you get the shingles vaccination. It can come as quite a surprise to get the vaccination as recommended by your doctor only to find out that your insurance will not pay for it and you are going to be out the entire amount.

5. Who Should Get the Shingles Vaccination

Overall, anyone who is over the age of 60 should consider getting the shingles vaccination, even though it may cost them some money out of pocket. If you are over the age of sixty you are more likely to get shingles and the vaccination can increase your chances of avoiding this painful illness.

In addition, the older that you are, fighting off the infection of this virus can become more difficult, which makes the disease even more challenging. If you are over the age of 50 and susceptible to getting the shingles, the vaccination is also a good idea.


6. Possible Side Effects of the Shingles Vaccine

If the shingles vaccine has been recommended by your doctor it is important to note that there could be some side effects of receiving this vaccine. While there are no serious problems identified from getting the shingles vaccination, there were some people who report soreness or swelling around the area the shot was given.

Some people also reported getting a headache after receiving the vaccination. The overall risk of the vaccine causing harm or death is very small. Severe allergic reactions to the vaccine are possible but are rare.



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