120813 A single shingles shot

A single shingles shot

Over the past several years, shingles has had more exposure in the media and rightly so since Shingles can be a debilitating occurrence with one sided pain, tingling or burning sensations. This pain and burning can be severe and normally occurs prior to any rash. Muscle weakness, abdominal and joint pain, and headache, amongst a host of other symptoms often accompany this disease.

A recent review, E published by the Cochrane Collaboration, confirms the wisdom of getting a shingles shot. Their research is helping to settle the question of whether or not the shingles vaccine reduces the risk and severity of an outbreak.

Further examination of the literature found this vaccination is even more effective in people who are 60 years old and above for the reason that in many cases the older generation has a weaker immune response to the shingles vaccination. This makes it more effective.

Previously the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended this vaccination for those who were older than 60, simply because that was the age group involved in the initial research study. In 2011, the recommended age to receive the shingles shot was expanded to those 50 years old and above. This recommendation was based on research that showed the vaccination decreased the risk of developing shingles by almost 70% in this age group.

At $200 per shot, this vaccination is relatively expensive but then you only need one. However, most insurance plans cover the cost. For those citizens over 65, this shot is included in their Medicare part D, which is a federal drug program. Of course, depending on your insurance plan, your co-pay or out-of-pocket cost will vary.