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Just got my zoster vaccine
Old 04-24-2009, 11:30 AM   #1
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Just got my zoster vaccine

I'm over age 60 so I just got my zoster vaccine yesterday. Something to think about.

Check for insurance coverage -- it's expensive, like $350 I was told.
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Old 04-24-2009, 11:59 AM   #2
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Birthday present? Like getting a colonscopy for your 50th and 60th?

Why is the recommendation to get it after age 60 and not before? I had a friend who got shingles and was miserable for months.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I'm over age 60 so I just got my zoster vaccine yesterday. Something to think about.

Check for insurance coverage -- it's expensive, like $350 I was told.
Both DW and myself had the shingles vaccine in 2007. At that time Medicare did not cover the cost ($275 + $30 Adm each) but my secondary insurance (BCBS) did cover it, less 20% copay. Well worth doing. Medicare may cover the vaccine now. Also, please note that you must have had chicken pox in your past in order to get this shot. I did not know and could not find out so I had to be tested. Allso, I don't remember hearing anything about the 60 year old rule. Of course we were 70.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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Birthday present? Like getting a colonscopy for your 50th and 60th?

Why is the recommendation to get it after age 60 and not before? I had a friend who got shingles and was miserable for months.
Never let it be said that I don't know how to party.

Age 60 is about when the incidence of shingles rises rapidly; young'ns can get it but less frequently. In addition, the incidence of post-herpetic neuralgia (permanent nerve pain after the shingles go away) is higher in older patients. The latter is the real motivator for me; it is not a fun condition.

Johnnie - virtually everyone currently over age 50 or 55 has had chicken pox, including those who do not recall ever having it. It is so universal that many we don't really even check any more.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
I'm over age 60 so I just got my zoster vaccine yesterday. Something to think about.

Check for insurance coverage -- it's expensive, like $350 I was told.
Thanks for the tip, I'll have to ask my doc about that. Never heard of zoster, at first I thought it was some kind of religious group you got your vaccine from, but that's Zoroaster. But shingles I've heard of, I think they go on the roof, right?
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Old 04-24-2009, 02:18 PM   #6
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I'm planning on it when I hit 60. My insurance wil probably cover it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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Good luck on getting insurance to cover it.
Both DW and I have gotten our shots--only way insurance would cover the vacine was if the vacine was administered AT the physician's office. Since the clinic does not have sufficient demand to timely use a full vial 10 shots)--the docs sent us to the pharmacy where our insurance (Regence Blue Shield) would not cover. Our cost 225. Still a good investment but logic for insurance company excapes me. MIL had same issue and she is on Medicare and had to go her pharmacy to get it. We both live in smaller communities so docs seem to stock much of the vacines in their offices anymore
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:32 PM   #8
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Good luck on getting insurance to cover it.
Both DW and I have gotten our shots--only way insurance would cover the vacine was if the vacine was administered AT the physician's office. Since the clinic does not have sufficient demand to timely use a full vial 10 shots)--the docs sent us to the pharmacy where our insurance (Regence Blue Shield) would not cover. Our cost 225. Still a good investment but logic for insurance company excapes me. MIL had same issue and she is on Medicare and had to go her pharmacy to get it. We both live in smaller communities so docs seem to stock much of the vacines in their offices anymore
I have very good health insurance, a retired federal employee with an HSA.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:52 PM   #9
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I had shingles fifteen years ago . It's worth a lot more than $350 to avoid it . Mine was in my arm & chest and the only way I can describe the pain is it felt like someone took a blowtorch to my arm .
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:28 PM   #11
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I posted about this a while back when my brother got it in a quadrant on his face and it is still affecting his sight in one eye. I'm going for the vaccine when I turn 60 even if I have to pay for it out of my own pocket.
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #12
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Also, please note that you must have had chicken pox in your past in order to get this shot.
DW just told me we don't need it because we've had chickenpox when young. Which is it, you need the shot if you've had chickenpox, or if you haven't?
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Old 04-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #13
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I asked for, and got, the vaccination at 57. Insurance paid.

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Old 04-24-2009, 04:55 PM   #14
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DW just told me we don't need it because we've had chickenpox when young. Which is it, you need the shot if you've had chickenpox, or if you haven't?
If you've had chickenpox you need it. Shingles is another outbreak of the same virus, which can stay dormant in your body for decades before erupting again - very painfully.

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Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive (dormant) in your nerves. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.
Shingles - MayoClinic.com
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:29 PM   #15
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DW just told me we don't need it because we've had chickenpox when young. Which is it, you need the shot if you've had chickenpox, or if you haven't?
She's wrong.

The whole point is that shingles is a potential long term effect of having had chickenpox.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:34 PM   #16
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OK, so let's say you're 55, you read this thread and decide you're definitely going to get the vaccine at 60. Why not get it now? It will last your lifetime, right? You might get shingles at age 57. It will only be wasted if you die before 60.

Is that logic correct?
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Old 04-24-2009, 06:48 PM   #17
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OK, so let's say you're 55, you read this thread and decide you're definitely going to get the vaccine at 60. Why not get it now? It will last your lifetime, right? You might get shingles at age 57. It will only be wasted if you die before 60.

Is that logic correct?
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.
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Rich convinced me
Old 04-24-2009, 06:55 PM   #18
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Rich convinced me

Apparently it is only covered by Medicare Part D, not B. I have a bare bones Part D policy, but I just went down to my local Safeway and the pharmacist gave it to me. $185 and a big discount on my next tank of Safeway gas.

The pharmacist looked to be only 30 or so, but he got the Zostavax himself because a young friend of his got Herpes Zoster on his face and was in terrible pain.

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Old 04-24-2009, 07:07 PM   #19
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Kaiser covered in full, less $15 copay. I am moving out of Kaiser coverage area and I will miss it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 08:09 PM   #20
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Apparently it is only covered by Medicare Part D, not B. I have a bare bones Part D policy, but I just went down to my local Safeway and the pharmacist gave it to me. $185
Ha, did he need a doctor's order?
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