Shingles is an infection that attacks an individual nerve, leading to a rash and skin disease. Every year, the U.S. sees an estimated 1 million cases of shingles, most commonly in people over the age of 50. Symptoms of shingles include pain, blistering skin rashes, and tender skin. This pain can last for up to 4 weeks and may cause scarring.
The CDC now recommends all adults 50 years and older get the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, to prevent shingles and the complications caused by the disease. Let's take a closer look at shingles and the vaccine.
Who Is At Risk For Shingles?
Adults 60 years or older are 10 times more likely to experience shingles due to their compromised immune system. Luckily, there is a cure. This vaccine provides strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia, the most long-lasting pain that is the common complication of shingles.
Is the Vaccine Effective?
This vaccine reduces the risk of shingles and PHN by more than 90% for those 50 and older. For those 70 or older, Shingrix is 91% effective in preventing shingles and 98% effective in preventing PHN. The vaccine is taken in two doses, 2 to 6 months apart, and is a simple and effective solution to a common problem.
Is the Vaccine Covered by Insurance?
Depending on your insurance, you are probably covered for this vaccine. Many Medicare Part D plans cover the shingles vaccine, or will cover most of the cost. Medicare Part B does not cover the vaccine, and Medicaid may or may not. To figure out if you're covered, contact your insurance provider.
Are There Side Effects?
Although there are common side effects, including soreness, redness, and swelling, only about 1 out of 10 people said the effects impacted their daily life. Most reported that they felt better within 3 to 5 days—much better than the pain felt by shingles.
Now that it is officially recommended by the CDC, demand for Shingrix is extremely high. Seniors should check with their doctors immediately to see if they are eligible for the vaccine.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact your local Caring team today to learn more.