Doctor Thrilled by New Shingles Vaccine
Maybe you’ve heard of shingles, that ghost of chicken pox past that’s undoubtedly hiding in your nervous system, waiting for a chance to make a comeback with a blistering rash and persistent nerve pain.
Shingles and chicken pox are both caused by the same virus, varicella zoster.
Maybe you’ve heard of, or even gotten, the shingles vaccine, which is intended to head off that comeback. That shot, Zostavax, was recommended for people age 60 and over.
Now, however, there’s a new vaccine, approved in October by an advisory committee to the CDC. That one, called Shingrix, is recommended for people age 50 and older. And this new one is more than 90 percent effective.
The best news, said Dr. Rudolf Kotula, an infectious disease physician with Methodist Physicians Clinic in Omaha, is that the new vaccine remains more than 90 percent effective even as people age. The older vaccine’s effectiveness drops off significantly over the decades.