Shingrix, The New Shingles Vaccine is Here!
Written by Kim DeMagistris, PharmD, RPh
Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator, Price Chopper/Market 32 Supermarkets
You may have heard about the shingles vaccine and wondered, “Should I get this new vaccine?” or “Do I need the new vaccine if I already received Zostavax?”
Shingles is a painful rash that develops in about 30% of people. As we get older our immune systems don’t work as well and because we have been exposed to chickenpox as kids, the virus is already inside us waiting to erupt as Shingles! The shingles rash usually presents with blisters and can be painful and itchy. Sometimes the rash will go away after a couple of weeks but some patients have lingering pain known as post-herpetic neuralgia. Other complications of Shingles can include blindness1.
Shingrix is now recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for patients 50 and older. Most patients born before 1968 will be eligible for this vaccine and if you have had Zostavax then you will need to be revaccinated with Shingrix! Shingrix is more effective than Zostavax and we now know that Zostavax boosts your immunity for only about five years. That means that after five years of receiving Zostavax, you may no longer be protected.2
It is easy to be vaccinated! Just speak with your local Price Chopper/Market 32 Pharmacist for more information. Shingrix is given as a two dose series, which means you will get a second shot about two months after the first. When patients receive both doses of Shingrix, the vaccine is about 97% effective.3
For more information about shingles and the Shingrix vaccine, check out the information below from the CDC
- Immunization Action Coalition. Shingles (zoster): questions and answers. Information about the disease and vaccine. http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4221.pdf. (Accessed October 29, 2017).
- Clinical Resource,Shingles Vaccine: FAQs. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter. December 2017.
- Product information for Shingrix. GlaxoSmithKline. Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. October 2017.