Shingles: vaccine, treatment, prevention

Health

Shingles is a painful and persistent condition, but there is a way to avoid it. 

The shingles virus is most common in people over the age of 50. 

Shingles can be prevented through vaccination, but those who need the vaccine are having trouble getting it. 

Nearly one of every three people will develop shingles in their lifetime. Joan Keochakian was diagnosed with the shingles virus six months ago. 

“It was terrible, I didn’t know what it was right away,” said Keochakian. “I had it on my forehead, I still have scarring. I had it on the left side, and it’s damaged the nerves on the left side of my face.” 

Shingles is a painful and persistent rash. 

A presentation on shingles prevention and treatment was held at Linda Manor nursing home in Leeds Thursday afternoon. 

Linda Manor Medical Director Beth Warner told 22News there is currently a shortage for the shingles vaccination. 

Because of the Shingrix vaccine’s success in preventing shingles, the company’s North Carolina plant hasn’t been able to keep up with the demand from across the country. 

But once the virus is gone there could still be complications. Dr. Warner said the pain can linger after the shingles rash clears from a patient’s body. 

“The treatment of that can get quite complicated and involve a lot of medications and specialists,” said Dr. Warner. “We really want to make sure the older adults know as much as they can about shingles and do everything, they can to prevent themselves from getting it.” 

The vaccine is given in two doses, two to six months apart.  

22News checked with the CVS in West Springfield. They said the Shingrix vaccine is on back-order, and they hope to have a new supply next month. 

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