The New Shingles Vaccine On the Market
There has been a lot of interest in the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, since the FDA approved its use in October 2017. Although this site is about natural remedies, I have decided to share some interesting findings about shingles and this new vaccine.
Shingrix vs. Zostavax
According to infectious-disease experts, the effectiveness at preventing shingles is “more than 90%” for Shingrix, compared with 51% for the Zostavax vaccine. For people aged 70 and older, it is even less effective.
The virus that causes chicken pox and shingles is called varicella zoster. Zostavax incorporates a live but weakened version of the zoster virus. Shingrex, however, contains a dead version of the virus. It also contains a substance that helps your body to better fight off the virus. Your immune system responds by producing more shingles-fighting antibodies than what Zostavax would.
Why Shingrix is Recommended for Older People
From around the age of 50, the chances of you getting shingles increases. The CDC recommends that healthy, older people get Shingrix if they wish to have protection against getting shingles. Protection is said to remain strong for at least 4 years, and possibly much longer.
Two doses of the vaccine are required, given 2 – 6 months apart. Getting the second dose is to ensure that you are protected long-term.
Side Effects of Shingrix
Shingrix causes a boost in immune response. This produces more side effects than the Zostavax vaccine.
According to studies, the main side effects of Shingrix are redness, swelling and soreness at the site of the vaccine. Some people also experience headaches, tiredness, muscle pain, shivering, nausea, stomach pain or fever. The effects are temporary and usually clear within 5 days.
Is Shingrix Necessary if You’ve Already Had Zostavax?
The CDC’s recommendation is that you should get Shingrix, even if you’re already had the Zostavax vaccine. However, you should wait at least two months after getting Zostavax, before receiving Shingrix. The Shingrix vaccine is more effective than Zostavax and the protection lasts longer.
You’ve Already Had Shingles. Should You Still Get Shingrix?
Once you’ve had shingles, there’s an increased possibility that shingles could return at a later stage. It’s recommended that you get the vaccine after the redness and other symptoms have disappeared.
Who Should Not Get Shingrix?
You should not get Shingrix if any of the following points apply:
- If you’ve had a bad allergic reaction to any of its ingredients;
- You’ve tested negative for immunity to the varicella-zoster virus;
- You currently have shingles;
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
It’s possible that taking immune-weakening drugs might make Shingrix less effective. There’s also a possibility that Shingrix could worsen certain diseases (such as leukemia) by stimulating the immune system. Research on this continues.
The cost of both shots of Shingrix is currently $280. Medicare Part D will cover the cost for people aged 65 and older. You should check with your health insurance provider for further information. If they do not yet cover Shingrix, you can consider getting Zostavax until your insurance coverage is in place.
Natural Alternatives to Shingles Vaccines
It’s clear that vaccination does not come without risks and side effects. However, there are natural treatments for shingles that relieve the itching and pain without any adverse effects.
It’s important to do as much as you can to keep your immune system in good working order, as shingles is caused by a virus. Your diet should include:
- foods that are rich in B-vitamins,
- cultured dairy products,
- grass-fed meat,
- wild-caught fish,
- green, leafy vegetables,
- onions and garlic, and
- foods rich in vitamin C.
Also keep yourself well hydrated by drinking a glass of water every 2 hours.
The Fast Shingles Cure
He’s a nutritionist and medical researcher who spent years developing a protocol that can eliminate your shingles in less than a week. It costs only $37.77 and you can download it as a PDF.