Vaccinations don’t just end with childhood. Aside from the yearly flu vaccine, there are a number of other shots that health experts recommended adults to have. For example, many adults in the United States receive immunizations for hepatitis a and B, HPV, measles, tetanus, and mumps. Now, there’s one more that we should add to this list.
An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a report in which they recommend a new vaccination for Americans who are older than fifty. This vaccine is called Shingrix, and it’s a newly-approved vaccine that will help prevent the development of shingles.
Shingles affect about one in every three Americans and cause painful blisters. Aside from the severe rashes, shingles often come with other serious complications, such as swelling in the brain, nerve pain, and hearing and vision loss. In some rare cases, it can be fatal.
This infection often occurs when the chickenpox virus resurfaces years after a person first contracted it. Studies have shown that around 99% of Americans over the age of 40 have had chickenpox, therefore are at risk of shingles.
While there’s already a vaccine for shingles on the market, it’s not nearly as effective as the new one. Created by GlaxoSmithKline, the two-dose Shingrix was only approved in the United States last week, but it’s already getting a lot of praise.
Dr. Kelly Moore, director of the Tennessee health department’s immunizations program, states that “it performs in very superior fashion and will prevent more disease than the other vaccine available.”
According to the New York Times, Shingrix is 90% effective over the course of four years, while the older shot, Zotavax only led to a 51% reduction in the cases of shingles.
Those interested in getting this vaccine will have to wait a bit longer for the CDC to make the committee’s recommendations official. When it does become available, they advise that anyone over the age of 50, even if they’ve received a shingles vaccine before, should get it for extra protection.
GlaxoSmithKline will be priced at $280 for two doses. However, once the CDC makes it official, it’s very likely that insurance companies will cover the costs.