Doctors Are Excited About A New Vaccine, And If You're Over 50, You Should Be Too

Health | Did You Know

Doctors Are Excited About A New Vaccine, And If You're Over 50, You Should Be Too

Immunizations don't just end after childhood. Aside from the annual flu vaccine, there are a few more shots that health experts recommend adults get to keep them from contracting severe diseases.

Many adults in the United States have received immunizations for hepatitis A and B, HPV, measles, mumps and tetanus.

Now, there's one more older adults should add to the list.

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An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) just released a report in which they recommend a new vaccination for Americans over the age of 50.

Shingrix, is a newly-approved vaccine that will prevent the development of shingles, also called herpes zoster.

Shingles affects about one in every three Americans, and causes painful blisters. Aside from the severe rashes, shingles is often accompanied with other serious complications, including never pain, swelling in the brain, hearing and vision loss. In some cases, it can be fatal.

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The infection often occurs when the chickenpox virus resurfaces years after a person first contracted it. Studies have shown that around 99% of Americans over the age of 40 have had chickenpox, therefore the vaccine is highly recommended.

So how can you get your hands on the vaccine?

While there's already a vaccine for shingles in the market, it is not nearly as effective as the new one. Created by GlaxoSmithKline, the two-dose Shingrix was only approved in the U.S. last week, but it's already getting a lot of praise.

"It performs in very superior fashion and will prevent more disease than the other vaccine available," said Dr. Kelly Moore, director of the Tennessee health department's immunization program.

Shingrix is said to have around 90% effectiveness over the course of four years, while the older shot, Zostavax only led to 51% of reduction in shingles according to the New York Times.

Those interested in getting vaccinated will have to wait a bit longer for the CDC to make the committee's recommendations official.

When it becomes available, the committee advises that anyone over the age of 50, even if you've received the shingles vaccine before, get it for extra protection. Just remember to always consult with your doctor before making a decision.

GlaxoSmithKline confirmed that Shingrix will be made available next month, and be priced at $280 for the two doses. It is very likely that insurance companies will cover the cost once the CDC makes it official.

Would you get the shingles vaccine? Let us know!

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.