Finally, my Shingrix vaccination

It required three or four months on a wait list, but I finally got my first of two Shingrix shots yesterday. Shingrix is the new vaccine for shingles that has been in short supply since its approval and introduction last year. Having had a “mild” case of shingles back in the ’90s, I wasn’t about to gamble that it conferred immunity. I don’t even want to contemplate what a really severe case might be like.

The pharmacist told me about side effects that have been reported with the vaccine, and it definitely sounded more rugged than a flu shot (longer lasting, more severe injection site soreness; possible headache, fever, fatigue, nausea, etc.) but I wasn’t about to pass on my opportunity to get the vaccine. And so far, 24 hours later, all I’ve noticed is a sore arm no worse than a flu shot.

Having gotten my shot yesterday, I’m automatically on the wait list for the second shot in two to six months. (It takes two injections for full effect.)

The only bad side effect was discovering that my Medicare Advantage plan only paid a couple of dollars for the vaccination and my co-pay was a whopping $195. I suppose the same will be true of the second vaccination. Apparently other insurance plans are paying all or most of the cost.

Anyway, if you’re over 50 and had chicken pox as a child — didn’t we all? — I urge you to consider this vaccine and get on a wait list if necessary, even if you’ve already gotten the older vaccine (Zostavax).(See CDC recommendations.) I guarantee if you get shingles, you’ll wish you’d been vaccinated.

(And for whatever it’s worth, I’ve long heard that getting a shot in your dominant arm will help work out the soreness faster. Also a nurse once suggested I get my shot in the arm opposite the side I usually sleep on. Makes sense. Between the two, I always get shots in my right arm.)



Categories: Health

15 replies

  1. I’ve had both of my vaccines. And, thank goodness, I got them when I was with Kaiser so I didn’t have a co-pay. I had shingles years ago when I was undergoing cancer treatments that compromised my immune system. You do not want to get shingles if you can help it! Good reminder to others to get on the wait list.

    • Given the timing, I concluded my shingles incident was brought on by extreme work-related stress. The next year, almost to the day, it tried to appear again, but with only a couple of bumps.

      I’m going to call Humana about my big co-pay, complain, and give them a chance to say they made a mistake. Or I may rectify the mistake myself when my plan comes up for renewal.

  2. Good for you! Weird that Medicare plan doesn’t cover it.

  3. By coincidence, Mollie and I got on a pharmacy list last week. Thanks for the side-effects info.

  4. I can have it for free if I want it; good being a senior citizen,

    The poor juniors have to pay about $A40 thats about $US28.50; things are getting mighty expensive here 😈 😛 😀

  5. I, too, had to go through waiting process for the second shot but had no undue discomfort with either. Now, it’s a matter of seeing if I need a measles vaccination.

    Hope WP soon remembers my data so I don’t have to keep writing it with every comment. They’re inconsistent with different WP blogs I’m finding. Some WP blogs offer a check box requesting data be remembered, others don’t, but many retain data without such a check box. Go figure!

    • I was born before 1957 so I’m considered immune to measles by the CDC.

      I’m sorry WP is messing with you. My settings require your info only on your first comment. Once I approve that, you shouldn’t have to enter it again. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. I know how annoying that is because there’s another blog I visit where I have to enter all that info every time I comment. Depending on my mood, I sometimes just don’t bother to comment. I do apologize if you’re having to do that here.

  6. I had the full series at my last job. Free because I was part of Kaiser. After a co-worker told me about a friend who showed up at a party with a prosthetic eye because shingles had cost him his eyeball, no way was I NOT getting the shots. I had chicken pox twice, and the first time it was in one of my eyes. Plus, shingles is hella painful, from what I understand. Glad you are getting the series!

    • I’m jealous you’ve gotten both shots. The vaccine is really hard to come by here. Turns out my big co-pay was because I haven’t met my deductible for the year yet. Still, my last company would have paid for it regardless, just as they did the flu and pneumonia vaccines.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

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