Archbold Pinetree Pharmacy Encourages Shingles Vaccine
The shingles virus is a painful, widespread skin rash caused by the reactivation of the same virus (varicella-zoster virus) known to cause chicken pox. Symptoms include burning pain, numbness, itching and blisters.
It’s estimated that one in three people will contract the virus in their lifetime. Those at highest risk include anyone who has previously had chicken pox, and people over the age of 50.
“After developing chicken pox, the virus stays dormant in the body and can later be reactivated which triggers shingles,” said Jackson Hatfield, MD, Archbold Primary Care physician. “The risk for getting shingles also significantly increases with age. Anyone over 50 is at risk, as well as people who have a weakened immune system, a chronic illness or HIV.”
While most people only experience one outbreak of shingles in their lifetime, it can occur more than once and can take anywhere from two to four weeks to clear up.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, getting vaccinated can help prevent shingles. In 2017, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the vaccine Shingrix. It consists of two doses, two to six months apart. The vaccine has been proven more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and offers protection from the virus for more than five years.
“The vaccine is used as a prevention strategy, not as a treatment for those who currently have the viral infection,” said Archbold pharmacist Megan Mills, PharmD. “It’s recommended that people who have had chicken pox, or people over the age of 50, get the vaccine. A prescription is not required for people over the age of 60 to get the vaccine, and most insurances cover the cost of it. We’ve been frequently administering the vaccine at Archbold’s Pinetree Pharmacy on a walk-in basis.”
For more information, call the Archbold Pinetree Pharmacy at 229.551.2377.