If you have had Shingles – or have tried to help someone who has it, you’re already cringing.
Shingles varies for everyone. Some people have a light case, and others a much more serious outbreak. My husband had a BAD case in around 2005 and we both cringe even THINKING of what he went through. In his case, it covered his whole left side and continuing around to his belly. His pain was excruciating and nothing seemed to help. He was in pain about 6 weeks and then STILL hurt when he laughed, sneezed or coughed for months afterward.
We jumped on it when the first vaccine was announced. It was hyped as a one-shot thing that would protect us for life. We both got the injection. THEN, when a new vaccine, Shingrix came out, we discovered that our ‘protection’ was really only for 5 years, and that we had been unprotected since 2009!
We tried to get on a list to receive the new vaccine, Shingrix, 50 mcg injection. (It’s a 2-shot deal with 2 to 6 months between shot #1 and shot #2.) We got the okay from our primary doctor and called Walgreen’s, only to be told there is a shortage of vaccine. They would put us on their list, but it would be awhile before we could get it. (They can only get 10 shots/month and the line is long.) AND, as makes sense, they’re trying to get shot #2 for the good folks who have already gotten shot #1 and need shot #2 before the six month time limit is up. We called the other pharmacies in Greenwood and Fort Smith and got the same information.
THEN, a new pharmacy opened its doors in Greenwood. We had been with them formerly, but they shut down and we had to go elsewhere. We were delighted to hear they were back! I called and she told me she COULD get the vaccine! We went and filled out the paperwork. When she called it into our healthcare provider, Humana, she reported to us that the cost for each shot would be $140 – and we needed FOUR shots! We put the whole idea on hold, hoping that the beginning of the year might bring better news as to costs.
I called Humana yesterday, finding to my delight that our cost would be $47 per shot – a much more reasonable cost. I called the pharmacy. She still had our paperwork and resubmitted it, calling us back later to confirm the cost.
We got our shot #1 today, and we’re on the calendar to receive shot #2 mid-March.
I don’t know what the difference is between sources, or why other pharmacies have so much trouble getting the vaccines. I’m just glad that our new pharmacist had no trouble and could get us started on being fully protected. The protection is for 5 years; so – if we’re still alive and kicking by then – we’ll go in and get protected again.
I write this to urge YOU – if you are 50 or older – to seriously consider getting this protection. I can tell you that you DON’T want anything to do with getting Shingles. You don’t need the pain, and you can get it over and over again. Please research what the situation and costs are for you wherever you are and make the decision to protect yourself, if possible.
It’ll be interesting to see when and if Walgreen’s will ever call us back that they finally have the first shot for us…