July 24, 2012

I Got My Shingles Shot!

Getting the shingles vaccine has been on my “to-do” list this year. I can now cross that task off as completed! You (or a loved one) may want to consider getting the vaccine too if you have ever had chicken pox and are 60 years old or older. CDC information can be found HERE. Please note that certain folks should not get the medicine. 

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often accompanied with blisters. The rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from 2 to 4 weeks. The varicella zoster virus (the chickenpox virus) causes it. Health statistics indicate that almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United State will develop shingles in their lifetime. You can get it at any age, but the risk increases as we get older and whenever our immune systems are compromised. About half of all cases occur for those 60 years old and older. 

Pain is the primary symptom of shingles, and it can be quite severe. For 1 in 5 people, the pain can also continue long after the rash clears up. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia. The vaccine reduces the risk of shingles by about 50%.  It can also reduce the pain for people who still get shingles after being vaccinated. 

The vaccine is somewhat expensive, with a dose and administration costs ranging from $200-$300. However, the expense is frequently covered 100% by health insurance plans because it is classified as “preventive medicine.” My shot was completely paid via my Blue Cross/Blue Shield major medical policy. My husband’s Medicare plan only required a copayment of $20. Our doctor doesn’t keep an inventory of the medicine, so we got prescriptions from him and then took them to a local Krogers pharmacy. The pharmacy dispensed the shots and also took care of the insurance filing for us. 

I hope that you will check into this important health issue! Perhaps you or a loved one may benefit from the information. And thanks for reading through my little public service announcement, LOL!


  1. I haven't done it yet ---but need to... It's on my list.... Both hubby and I had Chicken Pox as children....


  2. Not planning to do this for a while until I see how all the rest of you folks fare. I am getting very weary of the shingles commercial on continually. Now that I'm putting two and two together, it may have something to do with the fact that there is a vaccine available. It's just so annoying that I've not paid attention. That and the one about strokes where the woman lies in bed while her son bathes her legs. Arghhhh... Oh, there I go...venting in someone else's comments again. Anyway, I'm glad that you are a responsible adult unlike moi.

  3. I'm checking this out for my husband, it seems that I hear more and more incidents of this happening to friends. That would mean he'd be at home 100% of the time and I'd be insane. It's worth the 200$. Tell me if you have any symptoms after your vaccine, fever etc. I hear it's just a sore spot for most people.

  4. I hate needles. With a passion. A very passionate passion. LOL!

    I'm being very thankful for the fact that I'm not over 60 right now. LOL!

  5. I got mine over two years ago! My dear, little mother (then eighty six) had shingles for the SECOND time, which is rare. The 'pain' of needles is nothing compared to the excruciating pain of shingles. I decided right then and there I was not going to wait. Don't want to be one of those who know what it's like! Glad you got yours, too.

  6. i didn't realize they even had a vaccine! i sure hope it works for you both!

  7. You are so smart to do this! My dad had Shingles about a year ago. Talk about pain. It was intense and lasted for about 3 weeks. Of course he couldn't shave for a few months, so for the first time in his life he had a full beard! When people are hesitant about about getting the vaccination he tells them of his experience.
    The one good thing that came about from this, is he understands a little better about my situation and the nerve pain I deal with 24/7. My dad is a "buck-up, and deal with it" kind of person. He now has the empathy he never had before!
    This post is a great public service announcement :)
    Have a wonderful tomorrow!
    xo, misha

  8. My sister got shingles. She's only in her 30s so she didn't see it coming.


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