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.
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.
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.