Once again we are offering free Shingle Shots at Walgreens. Please call our office to get your name on the list. The shots are given by reservation only, and our local Walgreens pharmacist will administer them. The program will allow resident who were at least 55 years of age and had not received the shot prior to call and sign up for one. We had a strong positive response to this program we will continue it annually. This is an excellent way to provide better health to our residents that may not otherwise have the access or affordability. Please call (815) 838-0380 to make your reservation.
Shingles Vaccine: Should I get?
Whether you've had the shingles shot or not, adults age 55 and older should get the shingles vaccine (Zostavax). The shingles vaccine protects your body from reactivation of a virus – the chickenpox (varicella-zoster) virus that most people are exposed to during childhood. When you recover from chickenpox, the virus stays latent n your body. For unknown reasons, though, the latent virus sometimes gets reactivated years later, causing shingles. The shingles vaccine prevents this reactivation.
The shingles vaccine isn't fail-safe, some people develop shingle despite vaccination. Even when it fails to suppress the virus completely, however the shingle vaccine may reduce the severity and duration of shingles. Although there's hope that eh vaccine will reduce your risk of severe, lingering pain after shingles (postherpetic neuralgia), studies haven't yet found strong evidence of that effect.
The shingle vaccine is a live vaccine given as a single injection, usually in the upper arm. The most common side effects of the shingles vaccine are redness, pain tenderness and swelling at the injection site, and headaches.
The shingles vaccine isn't recommend if you:
• Have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin or any other component of the shingles vaccine.
• Have a weakened immune system due to HIV/AIDS, lymphoma or leukemia
• Are receiving immune system-suppressing drugs, such as steroids, adalimumab (Humira), infliximab (Remicade), etanercept (Enbrel), radiation or chemotherapy
• Have active, untreated tuberculosis
• Are pregnant or trying to become pregnant
In some cases, the cost of the shingles vaccine may not be covered by Medicare or insurance. Check your plan.