The new shingles vaccine that is 90 percent effective in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles, is now available at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s immunization clinics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults over age 50 get two doses of the shingles vaccine Shingrix®, separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Shingrix is the preferred vaccine because it provides stronger protection than Zostavax®, a shingles vaccine in use since 2006. Shingrix is also recommended for people who have already gotten Zostavax.
You can get Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past. Studies show that more than 99 percent of Americans 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember having the disease. Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus (varicella zoster virus). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles. If you had shingles in the past, you can get Shingrix to help prevent future occurrences of the disease. Consult with your healthcare provider or one of JCDHE’s immunization nurses about the best time to receive Shingrix.
Shingrix is available on a walk-in basis at the immunization clinics in Olathe and Mission: https://www.jocogov.org/dept/health-and-environment/health/immunizations/adults
Many health insurance plans will cover the vaccine. Contact your insurer to find out.
- What Everyone Should Know about Shingles Vaccine (Shingrix): https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html
- Recombinant Zoster (Shingles) Vaccine Information Statement: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/shingles-recombinant.pdf
- More information about Shingles: https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview.html;
- Culebrilla – Información general: https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/overview-sp.html