Shingles can dive bomb your quality of life – no matter what your age. Several older members of my family and young friends have suffered mightily from shingles. I can’t imagine one of our elderly home care clients being tormented by this nasty disease so I was glad to read that there is a vaccine.
According to Paula Span of the New York Times THE NEW OLD AGE blog, the vaccine reduces your odds of getting shingles by 55% and lessens the suffering for those who do get it. The vaccine (Zostavax) is made by Merck and recommended for all adults age 60 or older with normal immune systems.
For those of us under 60 who want the vaccine (count me and my sister in this group) we can get the shingles vaccine if we can find a doctor or pharmacy who stocks it and are prepared to pay for it ourselves if necessary. The cost is usually close to $200. To find pharmacies that provide the vaccine, plug your location into the Merck’s vaccine locator or call Merck at 1-800-261-5579. Good luck!
If you want to know more, THE NEW OLD AGE blog has thoughtfully collected up-to-date links to more information on shingles.