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Old 05-16-2008, 04:45 AM   #1  
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Default Over 60 - Get Shingles Vaccine

It's Official: CDC Recommends Shingles Vaccine Zostavax for Adults 60 and Older

By Miranda Hitti

WebMD Medical NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDMay 15, 2008 -- The shingles vaccine Zostavax is now on the CDC's official list of recommended vaccines for people aged 60 and older.

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a skin rash, typically with blisters, that can cause severe chronic pain. It's caused by the chickenpox (varicella zoster) virus, which can lie dormant within the nerves and reactivate as shingles.

The risk of contracting shingles increases with age, starting around age 50, and the risk of complications from shingles rises after age 60, notes the CDC.

The FDA approved Zostavax, the first shingles vaccine, in May 2006. In October 2006, the CDC's vaccine advisory panel voted to make shingles vaccination routine for everyone aged 60 and older.

In October 2007, the CDC printed the advisory panel's recommendations for adult vaccines, including the shingles vaccine. Now, the CDC has finalized its shingles vaccination recommendation for everyone aged 60 and older by printing it in an early online edition of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC recommends a single dose of Zostavax for adults aged 60 and older, even if they've already had shingles.

According to the CDC, research has shown that the vaccine reduced the occurrence of shingles in people aged 60 and older by about 50% and by 64% in people in their 60s.
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NOTE: my DH and my DF both got shingles in their 60's & suffered terribly.

Lynn
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:02 AM   #2  
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I would advise everyone to get the vaccination. I had shingles a few years ago and let me tell you it was not FUN! Now my Dr. told me since I've had shingles I don't need the shot that you usually don't get it twice. I am going to ask my new Dr. and see what she suggests.

It is an expensive shot but in the end it will save you much pain and suffering.

Phyllis
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Old 05-16-2008, 11:21 AM   #3  
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When I saw the subject of this posting I was going to ask if you can get them again (I know it's a form of chicken pox virus, right?)
I had shingles when I was 15 and remember how horribly painful it was. I never had chicken pox and since I teach kindergarten, I've been exposed a zillion times.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #4  
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NOTE: both my husband and my friend got them twice.

Lynn
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:16 PM   #5  
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My husband has had them twice. Years apart.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:54 PM   #6  
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Guess I'll mention this to my doctor -- I have had chicken pox but never shingles and it definitely sounds like I'd remember if I had.
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:24 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by meowee View Post
Guess I'll mention this to my doctor -- I have had chicken pox but never shingles and it definitely sounds like I'd remember if I had.
Actually, it's having the chicken pox that makes you a candidate for shingles.
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Old 05-17-2008, 10:27 AM   #8  
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I know two people who have shingles right now. It doesn't appear to be any fun. I'm going to see my doctor on Tuesday, and I will ask him. Does anyone know if it's covered by Blue Cross?
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Old 05-20-2008, 10:35 AM   #9  
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Last year when I took my mother to her doctor's appointment, he mentioned this. She hates even to get the flu shot yearly, so she was against another injection of any kind. He also mentioned that it is quite expensive, Medicare does not pay for it (she has BC/BS supplemental), AND that it has to be given within an hour! He said if she desired the injection, we had to call the office, they called her pharmacy, and we had to pick it up and bring her and the med to his office within an hour for administration! Huh? If anyone else has heard this, please post. I thought that was weird. I haven't looked into it any more since she was against it at the time, but she has her six month checkup with him coming up next month, so I wonder if he'll mention it again.

Juliana
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Old 05-20-2008, 11:02 AM   #10  
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It has to be kept frozen, so it has to be administered within 30-60 minutes after removing it from freezer. Also, not all pharmacies carry it due to storage and expense.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:32 PM   #11  
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I might also add, be careful around someone who has shingles, especially if you haven't had chicken pox. One of our younger nurses was taking care of a patient that had shingles and came down with chicken pox!
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #12  
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I might also add, be careful around someone who has shingles, especially if you haven't had chicken pox. One of our younger nurses was taking care of a patient that had shingles and came down with chicken pox!
At my hospital, you aren't allowed to take care of someone with chicken pox or shingles without having antibodies to varicella (proof of immunity).
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:06 PM   #13  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floridarusty View Post
I would advise everyone to get the vaccination. I had shingles a few years ago and let me tell you it was not FUN! Now my Dr. told me since I've had shingles I don't need the shot that you usually don't get it twice. I am going to ask my new Dr. and see what she suggests.

It is an expensive shot but in the end it will save you much pain and suffering.

Phyllis
I have to disagree with the part about not getting it twice. I am not sure whether the vaccine will help once you've had shingles (this is still controversial from what I've heard), but you CAN get shingles multiple times and many people do. I personally have had it THREE times so far. The first time I only had the rash and a prickly feeling, no big deal, the second time I had terrible pain and then the rash and the 3rd time (recently) I only had the pain...I got medication and gradually it went away but it took at least 7-10 days and I still feel a little of it now and then. It is episodic in nature and eventually you can have the pain without the rash.

I do agree that people in this age range should get the vaccine esp if they have not had an episode yet. I didn't even know I'd had chicken pox as a child but apparently I did since I have since had shingles. You only get shingles if you have had chickenpox.
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Old 07-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #14  
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I thought I had never had chicken pox either but my Doctor laughed and said you don't get shingles unless you've had chicken pox. I guess my case was very mild because I sure don't remember and neither did my Mother.

I had shingles 2x and the second time it left lingering pain......I get a huge sharp shot of pain every so often where the shingles had been. It's very annoying. I don't know if you can be lucky enough to get it a third time or not?

I guess I'll ask about it when I next go to the Dr too.
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Old 07-09-2008, 01:13 PM   #15  
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I love this quote and am trying to give myself the encouragement and love that I so freely give to others. Thanks for having it on your signature.
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