DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C.- A new shingles vaccine is on the market that testing proves is more effective at preventing people from getting the shingles.
One in three Americans will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime. That number goes up to half, over the age of 85.
Sybil Dinwiddie of Lexington was in Florida on vacation in December when she felt something wasn't right.
"I thought had sprained my shoulder. I had a lot of pain in my shoulder and down my neck. And then once I felt a bump I knew what it was," Dinwiddie said.
A doctor's visit confirmed Sybil had the shingles. Shingles also known as herpes zoster, is a painful, itchy rash that develops on one side of the body and can last for two to four weeks.
"So shingles virus is the same virus that causes chicken pox it just reactivates as we get older. It tends to be more common after we reach the age of 50." Dr. Michael Morgan an infectious disease specialist at Novant Health said.
Doctors say the worst part of shingles is the pain.
"For some people especially in the younger age groups it tends just to be pain for just two-four weeks, ut as we get older the pain may never stop. " Dr. Morgan said.
Sybil knows that all too well. She was diagnosed with postherptic neuralgia, a complication of shingles that affects one of five people who have the virus.
"It hurt where the nerve went down and it was back across my shoulder and it went all the way down. And I could feel it tingle in the ends up of my fingers. It hurt and my arm still hurts." Dinwiddie said.
Sybil was never vaccinated but wishes she was.
Since 2006 we've had the Zostovax vaccine that's about 50 percent effective.
A new vaccine called Shingrix is shown to protect 90 percent of patients.
Both are approved for adults 50 years and older.
But a CDC panel now recommends people get Shingrix.
"I think everybody should get the vaccination, whether it's 100% or not it's worth doing in my opinion," Dinwiddie said.
It's rare, but you can get Shingles more than once.
Zostavax is a live vaccine given as a single injection.
Shingrix is a nonliving vaccine made of a virus component. You will have to take two doses with two to six months between doses.
The most common side effects of either shingles vaccine are redness, pain, tenderness, swelling and itching at the injection site, and headaches.
Right now it will cost around $200 for the Shingrix vaccine. Details on healthcare coverage are still being worked out.
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