Tag Archives: shingles

If you’re over 50 please pay attention!

We have a new shingles vaccine, and health and federal officials are recommending it over the older vaccine. Not only is it much more effective, you can also get it at a younger age (50+ years) than the older vaccine–Zostavax (60+ years).

Our new vaccine, Shingrix, is 96.6% effective in adults 50-59 years, while our older vaccine, Zostavax, is only 70% effective in adults 60-69 years.

And WOW… the effectiveness of Shingrix at age 70+ is 91.3% vs 38% for Zostavax (which is given at an older age, also). This research shows that Shingrix offers much longer lasting protection than Zoatavax, whose protection is shown to wane after the first year.

If given the choice choose Shingrix.

And if you’ve already had the Zostavax vaccine the CDC recommends you go get the Shingrix vaccine to make sure you are as fully covered as can be.

Protect yourself from shingles!

 

You can find all this and more here:

Dooling KL, Guo A, Patel M, et al. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:103–108. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6703a5



Guest Author – How do chickenpox and shingles differ from each other? – Maria Fualo

For starters, both shingles (herpes zoster) and chickenpox (varicella) is a result of the same virus called the varicella-zoster virus, but they occur at different ages. Chickenpox can occur at any age, and shingles can occur any time after the person has had chickenpox. The two diseases bring a lot of discomforts to patients. In most cases, they irritate the skin and cause a blistering rash that scabs and may scar.

Whey They Occur and Physical Characteristics

The chickenpox is common in children below five years, while shingles infects typically people over 50 years. Shingles, however, can cause infection in anyone at any age if the chickenpox virus has already infected their body, mostly the elderly. Many cases of infection come from people above 50 years old.

Chickenpox and shingles do tend to differ in look. Chickenpox causes itchy blisters to form all over the body, sometimes internally. Shingles is very painful and often starts with localized numbness/tingling and often but not all the time, a rash. The shingles rash typically displays on one side of the body due to the fact that the follow along nerve pathways.

The blistering rash does not move all over the body like chickenpox does, but stays localized. The most common areas for the appearance of the rash would be the torso and face. It’s quite uncommon for the rash to spread elsewhere. Continue reading

How are vaccines made and released to the public?


A vaccine’s main goal is to teach your immune system to recognize and remember a bacteria or virus.
The word “vaccination” means to stimulate the immune system to make antibodies against the bacteria or virus targeted by the vaccine.
“Immunization” is different; it’s used in relation to injecting a person with pre-formed antibodies to a particular disease to make the person immune to it.
These terms are often used interchangeably, and that’s just fine, however it’s important to understand that these are two very different ways of creating immunity to a disease.