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WELLNESS TO-DO LIST: Don't leave this box unchecked

Posted at 1:33 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 15:33:13-05

Fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness are common ways people maintain healthy lifestyles as they get older, but one thing often left off to-do lists is adult vaccinations. One in three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime, but there are vaccines available to help prevent shingles, a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body. Even if you’re in good health, you may still be at risk if you’ve had chickenpox.

That risk of shingles only increases as you get older. In fact, 99 percent of people over the age of 50 are infected with the virus that causes shingles. Even once a shingles rash clears up, a person can experience complications such as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) or pain lasting from at least three months up to several years.

SHINGRIX (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) is a vaccine indicated for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in patients 50 years and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of SHINGRIX, 2 to 6 months apart, to help prevent shingles and related complications, such as post-herpetic neuralgia. The most common side effects of SHINGRIX are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever and upset stomach.

SHINGRIX has been met with an unprecedented level of demand from patients and healthcare professionals. GSK has responded to this demand by significantly increasing supply and accelerating shipments of SHINGRIX this year.

Vaccination is the only way to help reduce the risk of developing shingles and the potential long-term pain from PHN.

As we age, the cells in our immune system lose the ability to maintain a strong and effective response to shingles reactivation, such that after the age of 50 a person’s risk for shingles increases, which is why it is so important to ensure your 50 years and older viewers/listeners understand the importance of talking to their doctor or pharmacist about shingles vaccination.