If you haven't received it yet and you're an adult age 50 or older, what are you waiting for? Since Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes the chicken pox, those who had the chicken pox when they were younger are susceptible to the reactivated virus. In addition to viral reactivation, you can also contract the shingles by being around someone with the blistering rash.
The Shingles vaccine is a "live virus" vaccination, meaning whole parts of the virus are included in the vaccination, not just proteins. While this won't pose a problem for healthy adults, if your immune system is compromised or you are on medications that compromise your immune system, you should not receive the vaccination until you are off those medications. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure about your immune status.
If you've never seen anyone with Shingles before, the symptoms can be quite unsightly and very painful. Common symptoms include a rash that blisters, crusts over, and becomes flaky. The rash can take up to 30 days to heal. After the rash goes away, the virus can cause post herpetic neuralgia, which presents itself as extreme nerve pain described as sharp, shooting, and throbbing. Being that 1 in 3 people will get Shingles in their life time, it is imperative to receive the vaccination before it is too late.
The Zostavax vaccine is FDA approved to prevent contracting Shingles. In the state of Pennsylvania, both doctors and pharmacists can administer this vaccination. Depending on your prescription insurance plan, you may be able to get this vaccination covered upon your visit to the pharmacy. In other cases, you may be able to submit your receipt for reimbursement. If you are interested in receiving or learning more about the Zostavax vaccination, stop by Young's any time and ask to speak to one of our pharmacists.