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Old 04-24-2009, 09:08 PM   #21
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Ha, did he need a doctor's order?
No.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:51 PM   #22
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Yes, you could take it now. It may not be covered since the recommended group doesn't officially include you. The duration of effectiveness is unknown.
But 57 is close enough. I wouldn't hesitate on that count. Your doc may agree.
Rich, I'm suffering from comprehension difficulties and I've never seen a summary of the issues. Let me ask the question again while I'm pushing at the edges of the envelope.

I had a flaming case of chicken pox at the age of 10 (1970) and I've watched a couple of relatives suffer through shingles. I'm not very happy about waiting another 11+ years until I join the 60s club and can get the vaccine with insurance coverage. Getting the vaccine now, at age 48, even having to pay $350 for it, would make me sleep better at night. That'd go double for my spouse, and of course nobody sleeps at night in our house until she's sleeping happily. I can't imagine what'd be worse-- having a case of the shingles or having to care for my spouse while she grappled with a case of the shingles.

Sure, I'd base my decision on the vaccine's longevity, but would it be possible to get one now and another one at age 60?

I'm apparently one of the last humans of the 20th century to be vaccinated against smallpox, but I don't know if that's an issue for chickenpox or shingles. Are there any other adverse impacts or side effects that would give me pause at burning my money on this now? Because right now I'd hate to be dealing with shingles symptoms while thinking "$350 could have avoided all of this..."
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:38 AM   #23
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My wife an I also got our shots last year at 60. Insurance paid for about 75% of the cost. Just wanted to point out that the shot reduces your chance of shingles, it does not eliminate the chance. A friend had the shot and later still got the shingles.

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Old 04-25-2009, 06:43 AM   #24
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DW has had shingles, two years ago at age 45. If I could have prevented it for her with a $350 shot I would have done it without blinking an eye (better if the insurance paid for it though). I know a guy in Europe who had it even worse than SW, and he was off work for about 6 months because it was so bad. I don't know if the shot is available here in JP, but I need to look into it. I don't want to see her suffer like that again, so if it isn't I think I'll have her ask our doc when we go back to the states for home leave.

Rich - if you've had shingles once, do you know if (in general) are you at greater, lesser, or the same risk of having it again later?

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Old 04-25-2009, 08:16 AM   #25
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Rambler, yes you can get shingles again, and the immunization is useful even when you have had shingles in the past. I am not aware of evidence that a prior episode places you at risk for recurrent episodes but in my experience I would say yes.

Nords, this issue is that while a strategy of "younger" immunizations is logical, it has not been studied well for safety and efficacy. Also, the risk of shingles is lower in the under 60 crowd altogether so there is less benefit in younger populations as a whole. So, it may be logical and beneficial to take it earlier, but an honest recommendation would be that we just don't know. OTOH, it would not surprise me to see the recommendation change in a few years to start at a younger age; for now that would be "off-label."
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:28 AM   #26
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Pretty interesting that we give a vaccine for something that is already present in the body. That is, usually a vaccine is a killed or weakened organism, and it gives the body a chance to develop antibodies for the real thing.

But in this case, the real thing has been in the body for 40 years or so, and the body has already produced antibodies (i.e. you never get chickenpox again). So why doesn't the body already have resistance?

Today's Interesting Fact: The word "Vaccine" comes from "Vacca" or "Cow" -- one of the first vaccines was the administration of cow pox to prevent someone from getting smallpox. And that's why Rich has a cow in his avatar!
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:45 AM   #27
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Al, immunity wanes over time. That's why this is a true "booster" situation. Otherwise the disease can grab hold and your immune system misses it, or gooses up too late to prevent the recurrence.
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:27 PM   #28
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Rambler, yes you can get shingles again, and the immunization is useful even when you have had shingles in the past. I am not aware of evidence that a prior episode places you at risk for recurrent episodes but in my experience I would say yes.
Rich, are you positive about this? My dermatologist told me she has never seen a properly diagnosed second case of shingles in all her years of practice.
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:34 PM   #29
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Shingles Prevention

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults 60 years of age and older get a single dose of the shingles vaccine (called Zostavax) even if they have had a prior episode of shingles.
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Old 04-25-2009, 04:33 PM   #30
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DH is in a research study for a shingles vaccine--he got a shot a year ago and calls in each month to report any symptoms. He's sure he got the fake shot.
Husband was in the first study, he got the placebo. During the study he got a mild case of shingles. At the end he got the vaccine.

Interestingly, he was in the Seattle VA portion of the study even tho he was only in the AF Reserves way, way back when.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:06 PM   #31
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:39 PM   #32
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We're all going to die from the (new) swine flu anyway.

Swine flu symptoms:

1. Headache
2. Cough
3. Uncontrollable urge to make love in the mud.
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Old 04-26-2009, 01:09 PM   #33
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We're all going to die from the (new) swine flu anyway.

Swine flu symptoms:

1. Headache
2. Cough
3. Uncontrollable urge to make love in the mud.
4. Having to wee wee all the way home.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:04 PM   #34
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My Dr. doesn't recommend the shot, also said you can get shingles from the shot. Is he correct?
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:36 PM   #35
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Rich, are you positive about this? My dermatologist told me she has never seen a properly diagnosed second case of shingles in all her years of practice.
I disagree with your dermatologist, and have seen it from time to time. Perhaps she was talking about chicken pox, not shingles?
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:21 PM   #36
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My Dr. doesn't recommend the shot, also said you can get shingles from the shot. Is he correct?
What medical reason did your Dr. give for not recommending it?
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:49 AM   #37
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It was my general practioner, from what I remember he said you can get shingles from the shot, and you still can get shingles if you get the shot. If he's wrong I want the shot.
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:17 AM   #38
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Shingles vaccine: Should I get it? - MayoClinic.com

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-a...ingles-vaccine

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/...s/vac-faqs.htm
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:55 AM   #39
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I recently asked my general practitioner about the shingles vaccine (at age 40) after seeing my MIL suffer through it. He recommended against it at this time, saying there was not enough information about how long it lasted and uncertainty about whether I would then need some kind of booster at age 60.

I did convince my mother to get the singles vaccine after my MIL's experience. Prior to that I honestly thought shingles was a thing of the past, like polio - shows what I know about medicine.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:19 PM   #40
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The singles vaccine is a whole 'nother thing!
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