Henry County Public Health Stresses Importance of Shingles Vaccination:
Up to 90 Percent Effective in Preventing Virus
Anyone who has had chickenpox – about 99 percent of Americans born in or before 1980 – is at risk for shingles. Shingles is a viral infection that can cause a painful, blistering rash, as well as long-lasting nerve pain and other severe complications. The good news is, shingles is avoidable, which is why Henry County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services are encouraging Iowans to not delay being vaccinated.
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus stays dormant in a person’s body after recovering from chickenpox and can reactivate later as shingles, causing a painful rash on the face or body, as well as other long-term effects.
“The likelihood of getting shingles increases as you get older, along with severe complications like postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) – severe pain in the areas where the shingle rash was, even after the rash clears up,” said Robin Poole, Immunization Coordinator. “Being vaccinated for shingles protects against the short- and long-term effects of the virus.”
Who Should Be Vaccinated
CDC recommends two doses of shingles vaccine (Shingrix) separated by 2 to 6 months for adults 50 years of age and older. Henry County Public Health offers the shingles vaccine during regular immunization clinics: Tuesdays 9-11am, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-4pm, and the 1st and 3rd Thursday 1-6pm. If you have questions about the Shingrix vaccine, talk with your healthcare provider to find out if the vaccine is right for you.
For more information about shingles, shingles vaccine and routinely recommended adult vaccines, visit with your healthcare provider or the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/index.html.