Many seniors face a decision when their doctor recommends a shingles vaccine for people over 50 years old. But what is shingles? Most seniors remember getting chickenpox as a child. Once you recovered from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in your body. For people in the U.S. born before 1980, 99.5 percent already have the virus.
One in three people in the United States develop shingles, and it usually appears after the age of 50. It lasts three to five weeks and can include pain, rashes, and blisters. It attacks one side of the body, usually at the waist, chest, abdomen, or back, although symptoms can also appear on the face. Long-term complications occur for ten to eighteen percent of people who contract shingles, where the pain lasts long beyond the rash itself. If you have an impaired immune system, you are more likely to develop shingles.
The good news is that after two doses of Shingrix, the latest vaccine for shingles, you will have over 90 percent protection against ever getting the disease.
Read HERE for an extensive and easy-to-read summary about shingles. You want to make an informed decision when the time comes.