The Bryan County Health Department is offering the shingles vaccination to those ages 60 and older.
The shingles vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent the shingles rash, a painful skin rash that can cause blisters, fever, headache, and even result in nerve pain or damage. The best way to prevent shingles is to get vaccinated.
The procedure now can be directly billed Medicare Part D for eligible clients. Clients with Medicare part D will have to pay only their individual cost share. Clients with other insurance coverage are encouraged to contact the health department to determine if their health insurance can be billed directly.
The full cost of the vaccine is $182 for clients who pay out of pocket.
About one out in every three Americans will develop shingles, also known as zoster or herpes zoster. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. After a person recovers from chicken pox, the virus stays in the body in an inactive state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing a painful outbreak of shingles. Anyone who has had the chickenpox can develop shingles; however, the risk of getting the disease increases as a person gets older.
For more information, contact the local health department or go to www.cdc.gov/shingles/index.html.