FDA Approves new shingles vaccine for ages 60 and older
The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone aged 60 and older get the new Shingles vaccine, Zostavax. Shingles is a viral disease most common among older adults and is caused by the same virus that produces chicken pox in children. The shingle virus remains in the body for decades, sort of sleeping in nerve cells along the spinal column, said Eagle County Public Health Nurse, Linda Maggiore. For reasons not understood, the virus can reactivate, causing a localized blistery and painful rash. The outbreak can last for months, or sometimes even years. Maggiore recommends that even people who have had Shingles get the vaccine. The vaccine is not recommended for people with compromised immune systems, leukemia, lymphoma, HIV, those taking steroids, or other treatments for cancer. Eagle County Health & Human Services is offering the vaccine for $170. Medicare does not currently cover this vaccine, although some private insurance may partially cover it. For more information or to sign up for vaccine, please contact the Eagle office at (970) 328-8840, the Avon office at 970-949-7026, or the El Jebel office at (970) 704-2760.