Shingles can be a painful and long-lasting illness. The same virus that causes chickenpox is responsible for shingles and causes a painful skin rash.
If you’ve already experienced the illness, the shingles vaccine can prevent it from coming back. The vaccine is made with a weakened chickenpox virus called the “varicella zoster” virus. It readies your immune system to fight off shingles.
Although it prevents the disease in some people, others may still get shingles but for a shorter time and are less likely to have shingles-related nerve pain called post-herpetic neuralgia. This nerve condition can last for weeks, months, or years!
This vaccine is approved for anyone 50 or older and the CDC recommends it for anyone 60 or older.
You should not get the shingle vaccine in certain cases, though. Don’t get this vaccination:
- If you have a weakened immune system because of a condition or certain prescription drugs.
- If you are having cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation.
- If you have TB.
- If you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the shingles vaccine.
- If you’re pregnant. You should wait 3 months after getting the vaccine to get pregnant.
- If you are moderately to severely sick, you should wait until you are well to receive the vaccine.
If you have gotten the chickenpox in the past, you should still get the shingles vaccine. The virus can stay dormant in your body and flare up as shingles!
Will Medicare or My Health Insurance Pay for the Shingles Vaccine?
The shingles vaccine is covered under Medicare Part D. If you have private health insurance, check your plan. Senior Choices NW can help you enroll in a plan that has Part D coverage and can help you determine your cost for the vaccine.
For all of your senior health insurance needs, including Medicare Part D, in Wilsonville, Oregon, contact SeniorChoices NW.