Shingrix, the new shingles vaccine, is now available at Gatti Pharmacy. This vaccine is recommended by the CDC for longer lasting protecting against shingles. Here's what you should know:
A Q&A adapted from Pharmacist's Letter website article December 2017
1. What’s this I hear about a new vaccine to prevent shingles?
There are now two zoster vaccines to prevent shingles, Zostavax, which has been on the market for a number of years and contains live zoster, and the new zoster vaccine, Shingrix, which is an inactivated shingles vaccines. The Shingrix vaccine contains no live virus, an important distinction from the Zostavax vaccine.
2. How are the vaccines different?
Zostavax, a live vaccine, requires only one dose. Because it contains live virus, it cannot be used in patients who have a compromised immune system. The new Shingrix vaccine can likely be used in these patients as it is not a live vaccine. It does require two doses; dose 2 occurs 2 to 6 months after the first dose.
Another difference between the two is that Shingrix is recommended for people 50 years of age and older, while the Zostavax is recommended for people 60 and older, so many more people will qualify to receive the Shingrix vaccine.
Data suggests that Shingrix is more effective than Zostavax and that the protection received from the Shingrix vaccine is longer lasting.
3. Who should receive the vaccine, and which one?
Shingrix is recommended for anyone 50 years of age and older, even if they’ve previously received the Zostavax injection. Vaccination is recommended regardless of shingles or chickenpox history.
4. How can I get the vaccine?
We keep the vaccine in stock, and any of our pharmacists can administer the vaccine to you, anytime, with no prescription needed. We will attempt to bill your insurance prior to administering the vaccine, and will communicate to your medical provider about the administration afterwards. Remember that two doses are required, so you’ll make two visits to complete the series.
Still have questions? Read more on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/shingles or ask one of our pharmacists.
Call us at 724-349-4200 to check on the status of the Shingrix vaccine and to see if you may be someone who needs it.
The Gatti Team
Information, tips and more from the Gatti Pharmacists and staff.