The new shingles vaccine is finally available in sufficient supplies to meet demand. Nearly two years after its launch, and after nationwide delays and waiting lists, pharmacies now seem to be able to administer this important vaccine. GSK’s Shingrix is reported to decrease the likelihood of shingles outbreak by over 90%, a substantial increase in protection over Merck’s original vaccine Zostavax. Shingrix is a 2 dose vaccine, with the doses separated by at least 2 months, given intramuscularly usually in the deltoid muscle like a flu shot. Potential side effects include administration site muscle soreness and possible cellulitis—redness and swelling around the site. As with all vaccines, a screening questionnaire is required to determine any other patient specific contraindications to the vaccine.
The vaccine works by boosting the body’s immune system response to an outbreak, which is typically caused when the immune system weakens to a point where the zoster virus activates. Keeping the immune system strong is the best way to avoid shingles, and many other diseases.
Call us for more information and to check on availability, as the popularity of the shot can cause some lapses in supplies. We typically take walk-in requests between 1:00 and 5:00PM Monday-Friday.