Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox you had in previous years. The risk of shingles increases as we get older.
Shingles can cause severe blisters, pain & burning on the torso, limbs or face. For 1 in 5 people with shingles the long term nerve pain can go on for months or years. This is called post-herpetic neuralgia.
Shingrix provides 97% protection in the 50 – 69 age group and 91% protection in the over 70 age group. Shingrix will protect against shingles for at least 10 years.
Shingrix is given as 2 doses 2-6 months apart at cost of $150 per dose. Many extended health plans will pay for this vaccine.
Shingrix causes pain at the injection site & a small number of people report fever & feeling unwell for 2-3 days.
In an automated review of Shingrix vaccine, 6 additional cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) were identified for every million doses of Shingrix used. This does not mean that Shingrix causes GBS but more studies are needed. Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. Paralysis may result but usually resolves with supportive care.
Shingrix may be given 8 weeks after Zostavax although most experts recommend waiting 5 years after Zostavax in order to get the maximum length of immunity from both vaccines. Zostavax vaccine provides 51% protection against shingles for 5 years.
Shingrix may be given after an episode of shingles but wait until the lesions heal. Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends waiting one year after a shingles episode to administer Shingrix.
Contact us at 604-736-9244 if you are interested or have questions about the shingles vaccine.
If you are travelling, call us to book your appointment. We are fully staffed to get your assessment, prescriptions, and vaccinations covered all in one visit.