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Shingles Vaccine
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Have you either had a shingles vaccination, or considered getting one?
Yes, I've had a shingles vaccination.
24%
 24%  [ 10 ]
I've considered it, but I've never had a shingles vaccination.
36%
 36%  [ 15 ]
I've never even considered getting a shingles vaccination.
39%
 39%  [ 16 ]
Total Votes : 41

Author Message
Deb
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:24 pm    Post subject: Shingles Vaccine Reply with quote

I will be 60 this year and have been contemplating the shingles vaccine....on again....off again. I know that it probably only helps maybe 50% but it seems to also reduce the severity of the symptoms. http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411030_2,00.html I have become pretty adverse to shots/vaccines in general but this one keeps creeping back into my mind. Could we maybe have a poll here to
see how many have contemplated/or received the vaccine or not and your reasons either way. It might be
interesting to find out if our vitamin D levels have factored into the frequency of us getting it.
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starfire
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, Soy
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I posted somewhere else, yes, I had it last year (2011) and I had been bugged about it coming back to mind for several years (I'm 69) so I finally decided to just do it.

I have no idea what my Vit. D levels are though.

Love, Shirley
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Gloria
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Food Intolerances : gluten, soy, casien, eggs, legumes, Pepto Bismol, all fruit except mango, all vegetables, tomatoes, onions, peppers, carrageenan, chicken, beef, orange roughy, cucumber, vinegar, chocolate, olives, buckwheat, millet, tapioca, sorghum, rice
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also posted in another thread that I've had the shot. It took my PCP several tries to get the vaccine because the pharmacies have taken most of it. My insurance company will only pay for it if an approved provider administers it. Because of all the trouble my PCP went through to get the vaccine, he said he wouldn't give it to anyone else. That left DH in the lurch, so he'll be getting it once he's on Medicare (which won't be that long.)

My vitamin D level at the last testing was 62. I take about 6,000 IUs of it in the winter and 3,000 IUs in the summer.

Gloria
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garina
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Food Intolerances : gluten, eggs, dairy
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the Shingles shot in 2010, because my husband had shingles shortly before that time. He was fortunate that it did not linger, and he has escaped the dreaded nerve pain that sometimes goes along with having Shingles. I am against getting shots or vaccines, but this one, in my mind, was a must.

My Vitamin D level is 54, but I take 3,000 Vit D3 every day. It started out very, very low, several years back.

garina
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mzh
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Food Intolerances : gluten sensitivity
Location: Upstate South Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vitamin D levels are always around 30 unless I take 50,000 units of D2 (the prescription kind) a day for 6 months. Then it gets to 70. I don't think the higher level did anything special for me. I take 2-4,000 a day now.

Edited to add: I did get the shingles shot. The spot where the shot was given was sore for over a year but it didn't make me sick or anything.
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Gabby
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, soy, corn

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb

My vote is: already got shingles. I was lucky and developed shingles at age 42 on my back and it followed a nerve that wrapped around my ribcage under my right breast. Oh man, what an itchy burning painful misery that was. I think it lasted for about 10 days. Thank goodness I don't have any lingering pain or effects. I have a co-worker who got it on her scalp and it keeps re-occurring. So, knowing what I know now, unless there was evidence that the vaccine caused a serious side-effect, I would get the shot. Even if the vaccine is only partially effective, it is probably worth it.
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bevfromwa
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Location: washington

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Deb, wanted to report that I got the shot in 2007 almost immediately after it was approved, because my dermatologist kept encouraging it due to side effects of shingles that she sees in her office so frequently. As they say, it might reduce your chances of getting it by about 50%, and might be milder. So what happens? Sept of 2011 I get shingles. That is the thread I believe Gloria mentioned. I was fortunate to get to a doctor within a day, so got antiviral meds. I was pretty uncomfortable, but talked to a lot of people who were so miserable they couldn't even stand to sleep under a sheet, so maybe can say I was fortunate.

Let's see if I can quote an article in the NY Times that appeared about a year ago--has a lot of good information.

Quote:
January 12, 2011, 8:38 am
Few Takers for the Shingles Vaccine
By PAULA SPAN
The good news about the shingles vaccine, recommended for all adults age 60 or older with normal immune systems, is that it works even better than scientists first thought.
A study published on Tuesday in The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the rate of shingles was 55 percent lower in the 75,761 people age 60 or older who received the vaccine, compared with those who did not.
Formally known as herpes zoster, shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox and can lay dormant in nerve cells for decades, reactivates to cause a painful skin rash. In some, the intense pain can persist for months after the rash clears, a complication called postherpetic neuralgia.
About 30 percent of Americans develop shingles at some point, a Mayo Clinic team reported in 2007; the researchers also found that postherpetic neuralgia occurs in 18 percent of shingles patients, but in a third of those 79 or older.
Medical researchers can’t explain why some people with latent varicella infections develop shingles and others never do. But the new vaccine certainly seems to better the odds of dodging this scourge.
Data published in 2005, which led to the vaccine’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration, found its effectiveness lessened in those over 80. (Octogenarians were advised to get the shot anyway.) In the new study, however, the shingles vaccine was shown to reduce the risk of outbreaks in all age cohorts and races, and among those with chronic diseases.
“This vaccine has the potential to annually prevent tens of thousands of cases” of shingles, the authors wrote.
So what’s the bad news? Only a sliver of the senior population at risk for shingles is getting vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published the data on vaccination coverage among older adults in 2009. Nearly two-thirds of those over 65 got flu vaccines that year, the agency found, and more than 60 percent were vaccinated against pneumonia.
But just 10 percent received the shingles vaccine. “Bottom line, 10 percent is a pretty poor number,” Dr. Rafael Harpaz, an epidemiologist at the C.D.C. and co-author of Tuesday’s report, said in an interview.
Various factors seem to be preventing wider use of the vaccine, Dr. Harpaz explained. First, it is still fairly new, introduced in 2006. And on occasion its manufacturer, Merck, has been unable to produce enough, twice causing shortages that lasted for months. The most recent one is just ending, and an ample supply is promised by the end of this month. But uncertainty about availability has frustrated both doctors and patients.
And how many older patients even know to ask for the shot? “Merck has not aggressively marketed this vaccine at all,” Dr. Harpaz said. “And other players aren’t promoting it either, like health departments or even the C.D.C., so there’s less awareness of it.”
But it’s also harder to make the shingles vaccine available. “It’s the most expensive vaccine recommended to the elderly,” he said. An inoculation costs about $200, and not all insurance plans cover it.
Medicare does, but through the drug benefit, Part D. Most people will want to get it in doctors’ offices, however, and doctors are paid by a different Medicare benefit, Part B. This means that patients frequently have to pay for the vaccine and injection out of pocket, then get reimbursed. In some cases, they buy the vaccine at a pharmacy, where Medicare covers most of the cost, and then carry it to a doctor’s office for the injection — a bad idea, since it needs to remain frozen. Such financial complications are the major barrier to use, The Annals of Internal Medicine reported earlier this year.
Moreover, internists and other doctors who treat adults may have trouble storing the vaccine; they don’t usually have freezers in their offices. Family practitioners often do, though, because they treat children and pediatric vaccines are also frozen.
Yes, the distribution and marketing of the vaccine clearly still need work. But as caregivers, we may be more conscious than our parents of its availability, better able to ascertain which doctor or pharmacy has it and to cope with the resulting paperwork, perhaps better able to shell out $200.
So help spread the word. Shingles is a mean disease, and the older the victim, the meaner it gets. Apart from the pain of that postherpetic neuralgia, it can attack the eyes and permanently damage vision. And once you get an outbreak, you can get another. And another


Ok, sorry it is so long, but it looks like the article came through in its entirety, and it does have some good information in it.

My doctor hasn't responded to my request for a vit D test, think I'll rattle his cage a bit more when I get my physical this year. Hope this helps, Beverly
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starfire
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, Soy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are right about them being able to lessen the severity if you go to the Dr. early. This happened to my sister and she had a fairly mild case but, knowing me, I'd put it off too long waiting to see if it was really serious so that's another reason I went ahead and got the shot.

Love, Shirley
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Deanna in CO
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, dairy, egg, soy
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:04 pm    Post subject: And a word of warning . . . Reply with quote

If you do get shingles, it IS possible to get them again! My mom has had them twice. I am young still - only 46 - so haven't really thought much about the vaccine yet, but my f-i-l had them horribly, with neuropathy for years afterwards, and my mom had them twice. I think I might get the vaccine one of these days!
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Deb
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the responses. I am leaning towards getting the vaccine. My vitamin D levels have increased from 28 to 56 at last testing so I am hoping for additional protection.
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MaggieRedwings
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, Soy, Eggs, Nightshades, Mushrooms, Bananas, Melons, Most Dairy, usually Citrus, Corn for the most part
Location: SE Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an appointment to get the shot on April 4th. Cannot get it now since I currently have shingles and it seems to be the same area and nerves as what Gabby outlined above. Nasty thing and I heard somewhere that one shot is good for life but that has not been verified by my PCP.

Maggie
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Deb
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, still determining others
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you do get shingles, it IS possible to get them again
My 85+ year old aunt just got shingles for the third time!
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starfire
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, Soy
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this
http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/shingles/shinglesFAQ.aspx

How often can a person get shingles?

Most commonly, a person has only one episode of shingles in her or his lifetime. Although rare, a second or even third case of shingles can occur, and people with impaired immune systems are at higher risk of repeat attacks.

Love, Shirley
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When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber"
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tex
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, casein, soy, and avenin, (avenin is the prolamin in oats, which is equivalent to the gluten in wheat), beef, grapes, peanuts, cashews, almonds, (but nut butters seem OK except for peanuts), citric acid, chocolate, and agar.
Location: Central Texas

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would assume that anyone who has had chickenpox might want to give some serious thought to getting the vaccine before taking an immune system suppressant, (such as Imuran, methotrexate, or any of the anti-TNF drugs). The use of prednisone for more than a week or so, or the use of Entocort for 6 or 8 months or more, might also justify getting the vaccine.

Tex
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Gabby
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Food Intolerances : Gluten, soy, corn

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to learn you have shingles Maggie. Sad

I think I tried every itch relieving cream on the shelf and the only product that helped take the edge off was Neosporin + Pain Relief.
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