- Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk for its re-activation as shingles (Herpes zoster neuritis) infection.
- 30% of all people will suffer shingles once; of those, about 20% will have a 2nd attack.
- 50% of people who say they never had chickenpox did, but it was a mild infection (a blood test for varicella virus IgG antibody can prove this).
- 20% of shingles victims will develop post-herpetic neuralgia-pain, commonly severe, from the nerve damaged by shingles; it can last months- 2 yrs.
- 60-yrs and older, shingles frequency, illness duration, severity, and post-herpetic neuralgia all increase significantly.
- The preferred vaccine is Shingrix, given in 2 doses, 2-6 months apart.
- The vaccine is not live, so can be used in person with weakened immune systems (prior Zostavax could not).
- Shingrix is 90% effective across all age-groups in preventing shingles; most notably in the very aged (80 yrs-old and up), whose immune systems are naturally diminished. Shingrix is much more effective (91%) than Zostavax (about 40%).
- Indications for Shingrix are anyone who has ever had shingles or who is 50-yrs or older.
- Duration of Shingrix immunity may be lifelong, but will become more clear in years ahead. Zostavax is probably around 6-years. If you received Zostavax, you should receive Shingrix if it has been 5 years or more.
- Medical insurers vary in their coverage of the vaccine; check with your carrier.
For more information on Shingrix, follow this link: http://www.traveldoc.com/vaccinations/shingles-shingrix/
International Medicine Center stocks the vaccine and you can schedule a walk-in appointment, for the vaccination without a physician visit: (713) 550-2000