Zorba Paster: New Shingles Vaccine Worth It For Those Over Age 50

CDC Recommends New Shingles Vaccine

Doctor's office
Morgan (CC-BY)

Dear Doc: I have post-herpetic nerve pain from a shingles infection five years ago. Will the new vaccine be beneficial? — Amy in Oklahoma City

Dear Amy: Yes. Yes. Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. And everyone should consider getting the vaccine at age 50, not 60 like the old vaccine. It’s a two-shot vaccine, with the second one six months after the first.

Shingles is awful. And if you had chicken pox, you are at risk.

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By the way, this is vaccination season — or at least I think about that when the kids go back to school and it’s approaching flu shot time.

Last year, up to an estimated 43 million people caught influenza, according to the CDC. The result was about 20 million doctor visits and nearly 650,000 hospitalizations. Deaths from influenza were awful, with as many as 61,000 flu fatalities during the 2018-19 season.

So get your flu shot and make sure you’re up to date on the two pneumonia vaccines and the tetanus and pertussis vaccines.

Those who say vaccines don’t work have their head in the ground like an ostrich. Just look at the data. We’ve wiped out rabies, smallpox and diphtheria, and nearly wiped out measles, mumps and chicken pox. And we cut down dramatically on meningitis — all thanks to shots.

So roll up your sleeves and get ’er done.