Doctors encourage people over the age of 50 to get shingles shot

Doctors are encouraging adults over 50 to get another shot this year. A virus most commonly developed in childhood can be even worse for adults.

Posted: Feb. 3, 2018 8:10 PM
Updated: Feb. 3, 2018 8:16 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Doctors are encouraging adults over 50 to get another shot this year. A virus most commonly developed in childhood can be even worse for adults.

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Sarah Kennedy, IU Health Arnett Pharmacist said shingles are extremely painful. 

She said if you had the chicken pox growing up, there's a chance the virus is still in your body. Putting you at a higher risk for the adult version, known as shingles.

"It can come back and repeat over and over and over so if you've had shingles once, you can get shingles again...if you've never had shingles then anybody that's been exposed to chicken pox can have the shingles," said Kennedy. 

One in three people are at risk of developing shingles.

"It usually presents first as a rash or as a very sore spot, tender spot, it lives in the nerves so it's more like a nerve pain," said Kennedy. 

Managing the symptoms isn't easy, that's why Kennedy said prevention is key.

"There hasn't always been a vaccine available," said Kennedy. 

A new vaccine called Shingrix is now available for anyone over 50. The vaccination is almost 95 percent effective. 

Which is why you may have noticed a rise in advertisement about shingles recently. Kennedy said if you don't get the vaccine and end up developing the virus, contact your health care provider immediately. 

"The earlier you get treatment the better," said Kennedy. 

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