Shingles (Disease), Herpes zoster, varicella-zoster virus. skin rash and blisters on the back.

Shingles vaccine recommended for those 50 years and older

Medicare Part D members should call local pharmacy to check pricing and coverage

February 24, 2023

Adults 50 years and older are encouraged to get the vaccine Shingrix. Shingrix is over 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and related complications, and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash.

Vaccine pricing and insurance coverage
Shingrix may not be covered by all Medicare, Medicaid or insurance plans. If you are on Medicare, call Garfield County Public Health to check on vaccine pricing before making your appointment, as Medicare vaccine coverage has changed.

If you are on Medicare and have Part D, reach out to your local pharmacy to see if they can bill Medicare Part D for all of your age-appropriate vaccines. Public Health is only able to provide pneumonia and flu vaccine without any out-of-pocket cost. For those looking to receive Shingrix at Public Health, the out-of-pocket cost is approximately $190 per dose.

If you have questions regarding your insurance coverage contact your insurance provider or pharmacy before scheduling an appointment.

Who should get Shingrix
Shingrix is recommend for adults 50 years and older. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. You can get Shingrix whether you have already had shingles or not, it can help prevent further occurrences of the disease. Even if you don’t know if you had chickenpox, getting Shingrix is encouraged. More than 99 percent of Americans age 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember getting the disease. A previous vaccine to prevent shingles, called Zostavax, was less effective. If you had Zostavax, it is recommended to also get Shingrix.

About the Shingrix vaccine
Shingrix is a 2-dose series, with the second dose given two to six months after the first. To gain the most protection, it is important to get both shots within the recommended time frame. Shingles is given in the muscle of the upper arm and can cause pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site. This may be accompanied by tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach. These are all common side effects of the shingles vaccine and should subside. People with allergies to any Shingrix vaccine ingredients should not get the vaccine.

About shingles
Shingles can occur anywhere on the body, but typically looks like a single stripe of blisters that wraps around the side of your torso. It is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you have had chickenpox, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. People who got the chickenpox vaccine after it was approved in 1995, are less likely to have shingles later in life.