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 People 60 And Over Should Get Shingles Shot

 

US health officials are now recommending that people 60 and over should get a one-time shingles shot which may help prevent getting the painful rash.  After getting the shot, there is a 50-50 chance that you will not get the painful shingles rash, although it has been noted that the odds get worse as you get older.  Shingles can be a very painful, severe, and even scarring condition, and many governmental health officials believe that it is worth the $160 per dose cost.

Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox and usually occurs among individuals over the age of 50, but is most common in older people.  The condition usually ends after four weeks, although long-term nerve pain is reported in one out of every five victims.  Additional complications may include loss of vision or hearing and also scarring where blisters formerly appeared. 

The chickenpox are believed to effect about 95% of Americans, with many having mild symptoms in which they’re not even aware that they’ve had it.  It is reported that as many as one in three infected people develop shingles at a later point in time as the chickenpox virus lies dormant in their system. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded that even individuals who have already had shingles should probably get a shot if they are over the age of 60.  The vaccine was recommended by a governmental advisory panel in 2006 and was officially adopted by the CDC as their recommendation the week of May 15, 2008. 

The announcement by the CDC should encourage more doctors to give the shot and more insurance companies to pay for it in the future.  The vaccine is being produced by Merck & Co. and is the only manufacturer at the present time.  Presently, approximately 2.5 million doses have or are being distributed. 

This article is adapted from an Associated Press article (May 15, 2008) People Over 60 Urged To Get One-Time Shingles Shot 

On the net: The CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/default.htm

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate       

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