Many of us know someone who's had the painful condition known as shingles. It's caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox.
Once you get it, it never really goes away. Stormont-Vail Pharmacy Director Kevin Waite says, depending on the ebb and flow of the immune system, you'll be fine for a while, then have acute phases where you break out.
Waite says the shingles rash is rarely life-threatening, but the pain can be so severe, people can't go about their normal activities.
The Zostavax vaccine can change that. It's the first vaccine that can prevent shingles entirely, and reduce the frequency and severity of flareups in those who've had it.
It's targeted at people aged 60 and older. Waite says that's because, as people get older and their immune system becomes less responsive, they tend to have more frequent acute episodes.
Insurance coverage for the vaccine can vary, but for those concerned about shingles, Waite says it's worth a shot. He says there's no reason to go through that repeated pain when something can be done to prevent it.
Shingles Vaccination Clinic
Sponsored by Medical Arts Pharmacy
and Stormont-Vail's Healthwise 55
1 to 4 pm, Nov. 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20
at the Medical Arts/Healthwise building, 2252 SW 10th, Topeka
*Doctor's prescription required and bring your health insurance card