Shingrix: What to Know About the New Shingles Vaccine

The new FDA-approved vaccine, Shingrix, has been shown to be significantly more effective at preventing shingles (herpes zoster virus) than Zostavax.


According to clinical trials, Shingrix has been shown to:

  • offer more than 90% protection against shingles
  • appeared to retain similarly high effectiveness throughout a four-year study period.


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends Shingrix  to prevent shingles and related complications:

  • for anyone over the age of 50
  • even if you have already received the Zostavax  vaccine
  • as the preferred vaccine for prevention of shingles


  • Administered in two separate injections
  • Injections are approximately 2-6 months apart.
  • Can be administered at the pharmacy or in the doctor’s office, depending on your insurance coverage.

Side effects:

The new shingles vaccine does appear more likely to cause pain during injection and at the site of the injection for up to three days afterward.

Insurance Coverage:

Patients with Medicare Part D plans:

  • Ask for a prescription from your doctor to receive this vaccine at your pharmacy.
  • Although this is a covered vaccine, the CDC explains that there could be a cost if your plan has a copay.
  • Please verify with your pharmacy before receiving your Shingrix vaccine.

Medicare Part B does not cover the shingles vaccine.

Patients not on Medicare or without Part D coverage:

  • Contact your insurer to find out if this vaccine is covered under “prescription” or “medical” coverage.
  • “Prescription” coverage requires you to take a script from your doctor to receive the vaccine at your local pharmacy. You may need to pay in full then get reimbursed by your insurer for a certain amount.
  • “Medical” coverage requires our office to administer the vaccine. A portion of the patient cost may be reimbursable through your insurance.

The estimated total cost for the vaccine is $200-$300.

Please contact our office if you have questions about this new vaccine.