NEW YORK (CBS4) – A new study of more than 300 thousand elderly patients shows that a shingles vaccine can decrease the frequency of an outbreak by more than half, even in the elderly.
The research, done by Kaiser Permanente, suggested that the herpes zoster vaccine should be used on a much more widespread scale than it has been to this point, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Shingles is a very painful rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus can appear decades after an outbreak of chickenpox. It can also cause vision loss if it spreads to the eyes. The disease can also cause an irritation and inflammation inside the nerves that can last for years, according to the Times report.
The vaccine is made by Merck and sold under the name Zostavex.
The Centers for Disease Control said that all people over the age of 60 should get the vaccine, unless they are immunosuppressed, have leukemia or lymphoma, are HIV-positive, or are allergic to the components in the vaccine.
The CDC is considering lowering the recommended age for getting the vaccine to 50, according to the Times.
But, insurance doesn’t always cover the vaccine. If your insurance doesn’t cover the vaccine, it will run roughly $200 to get the vaccine.