Have you had the Shingles vaccine?

Sacred Hawaii.

Aunt M called to say she has contracted shingles.  It has attacked the nerves in her lower back and the inside of her thighs, and it is extremely painful.  This happened after her doctor REPEATEDLY advised her to have the shingles vaccine.  She kept putting it off until it was too late.  Her dermatologist prescribed two pills and a cream, but so far, none of it has alleviated the pain.  I am so sorry she is suffering.

When I inquired about the effectiveness of the shingles vaccine, my internist told me it is 50% effective, and there is a chance that I could contract shingles anyway.  However, the vaccine would lessen the severity of the disease.

So, what have I got to lose?  David and I have requested to have the vaccine later this month when we go in for our Hepatitis shot.  The shingles vaccine is NOT covered by our insurance, but since we don’t want to end up like Aunt M, we are going to have it anyway.

People who have had the chicken pox are especially susceptible to shingles.  If you have not done so already, please make arrangements to get the vaccine as soon as possible.  Better safe than sorry!

P.S.  We have decided to get the shingles vaccine at Kmart pharmacy, because it is less expensive than at the clinic.  My doctor will call it in to Kmart.

15 Responses to “Have you had the Shingles vaccine?”

  1. Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife Says:

    My Nan had it and it was dreadful. You are sensible.

  2. R.J. Says:

    Good info. I agree with you on the shingles vaccine. I had the shingles vaccination several years ago at a local Walgreen’s drugstore. Many locations advertised that it was available. I don’t remember if my insurance covered part of it, but my part of it cost me $60. That makes me think Medco covered part of the cost. Medicare covers the flu shots yearly. I haven’t had shingles at this point and I hope I don’t. I had no reactions to the vaccine. I remember my mom had a lot of problems when she had shingles so I hope I avoid it. I greatly believe in vaccinations and “herd immunity”. I wasn’t aware that it is now recommended that we have hepatitis shots, but I think they are recommending whooping cough boosters for adults.

  3. NRIGirl Says:

    I am hearing abouit it for the first time. Thank you for sharing. Will check it out.

  4. DrumMajor Says:

    Gigi — Call your docs to request the shingles vaccine, as most docs need to make sure they have it on hand for you. They also may/may not want to give it to you during a hepatitis shot.

    Insurance usually covers it for those over 60. I got mine at 56 years old, insurance wouldn’t cover it and I paid $160 for it. The shingles and flare-up doesn’t really know how old you are, and I’ve had 3 nurse buddies get shingles with horrid pain and after effects for months. I hadn’t heard it was only “50% effective” so I’m not sure where your internist got that information. I had heard it may not totally prevent a case of shingles, but that it can minimize the outbreak. I’ve lost patients with really bad shingles.

    Those people who have NOT had chickenpox, should not be near a person with active (not dried up) shingles.

    Get the shot! DrumMajor

  5. DJan Says:

    I got the shingles shot three years ago, at the request of my doctor. My insurance covered half the cost, I paid $75, but it was worth it. Even if I get it, it will not be as severe as it would be without having had the shot. Get it, Gigi! It is an awful affliction and some people never get over it.

  6. Christine Says:

    I’ve had the shot, thanks!

  7. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    I had Shingles before the shot was available. Terrible and you can get it in your eyes so its not to be trifled with. I persuaded David to get the shot when it came out and he did. Good post. People need to get this shot. Dianne

    PS I am also hearing the Whooping Cough vaccine is now important, even if you had it as a child. And we both got the pneumonia shot.

  8. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    PS love the photo of the little chapel. Dianne

  9. Suzanne Says:

    One of my coworkers got it years ago. He was in his 20’s. I will look into the vaccine. I did not know they had one.

  10. anonymous Says:

    Thank you for writing this. I will look into it too. But my husband is so against any vaccine, especially the flu shots. So we’ll see. His mother got the shingles in her 80s and suffered. But she is a strong woman who can always look at the bright side and be grateful. I’m sure it was worse than she let on.

    L. from W.

  11. Jeanie Says:

    Very good advice, Gigi. I had the shingles vaccine a few years ago. I have known people who got shingles and it is not something anyone wants to take a chance about.

  12. Henry Hank Chapin Says:

    If there’s not one thing to worry about, then there’s another. I did have chicken pox–in 1943. So far never a hint of shingles. But all of a sudden people are talking about it. I don’t like to run scared about my health all the time, but I also believe in being sensible. For example, I always get a flu shot because the few time I had flu were pretty severe. I definitely do believe in vaccinations when appropriate. What will I do? I’m in a quandry.

  13. Linda Reeder Says:

    I got the shingles shot about three years ago, covered by my insurance.

  14. musings Says:

    I’ve seen my mother and friends get shingles. As soon as I turned 60 I ran for the shot!

  15. joared Says:

    Had an aunt to contracted shingles that were so bad she spent her final months in a hospital with them. I took the shot a few years ago since I had chicken pox as a child — at least if I get shingles they won’t be as bad. Only thing is, I don’t know if doctors know how long the vaccine is effective and if or when I might need another shot or booster shot.

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