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Protecting Yourself from Shingles: Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Vaccine

08/13/2018

Nearly one in three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime, equating to about a million reported cases each year.1 

You may have heard about a new shingles vaccination in the last year. Shingrix, the updated version of the zoster vaccine, is said to be more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), the most common complication from shingles, when you get both doses of the vaccine.

Shingrix is the preferred vaccine over Zostavax® (zoster vaccine live), though you still can get Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix, prefer Zostavax or if Shingrix is not available.

Who should get Shingrix?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. There is no maximum age to receiving the vaccination.

You should get Shingrix even if:

  • You’ve had shingles in the past.
    • Shingrix can prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no waiting period after having shingles, but be sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.
  • You’ve received Zostavax.
    • It is recommended that you wait 8 weeks after receiving Zostavax before getting Shingrix.
  • You have not had or you’re pretty sure you have not had chickenpox.
    • Nearly every adult over the age of 40 is infected with the virus even if they didn’t have chickenpox. Shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus. Chickenpox can reactivate years later and cause shingles. Whether you have had chickenpox in the past, you still should get vaccinated.

Where can I get Shingrix?

Check with your primary care physician (PCP) about Shingrix and its availability. You also may be able to get the vaccine at your in-network pharmacy or retail health clinic. Call ahead to ask if it is available.

You are covered.

Getting vaccinated for shingles is a preventive service and is covered at 100% when you visit an in-network provider.2 

If you have any questions about covered preventive services or your benefits, call a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Personal Health Assistant toll-free at (800) 252-8039, Monday–Friday 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. central time.

Source: CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html
https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/shingles-recombinant.html


1 https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/index.html
2 Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations. Under the Affordable Care Act, certain preventive health services are paid at 100% (i.e. at no cost to the participant) conditioned upon physician

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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