This vaccine protects you from getting shingles and the nerve pain that can occur afterwards. It is not a covered benefit if you are under sixty.
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This is the same virus that causes chickenpox.
One complication of shingles is chronic nerve pain at the site of the rash. The pain can persist even if the rash has healed.
The shingles vaccine is given to reduce the risk of developing shingles and the chronic pain that can result from this condition. It is important to remember that if you get the vaccine while you have the shingles, the vaccine will not:
Some benefit plans may provide coverage for the shingles vaccine as “preventive” if you are age sixty or older. Please review your coverage documents and/or call the number on your health plan ID card for more information. The estimates shown reflect non-preventive coverage for age fifty-nine and younger.
The shingles vaccine is recommended for adults over the age of sixty. Although the vaccine is approved for adults over the age of fifty, it is not currently a recommended immunization for adults between the ages of fifty and fifty-nine. You should not get the vaccine if you are pregnant or have:
The vaccine may be postponed if you have a fever or a moderate to severe acute illness.
Medicare usually does not cover the cost of shingles vaccine.
Contact your health care provider if you are over the age of fifty and have questions about the shingles vaccine. Here is a list of questions you can ask during your appointment.
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