IF you catch it early, you can get anti-virals to lessen it. If you approaching 60, your insurance should cover the vaccination - more on this later. Or if you don't catch it early, you have to ride it out, which I did and as I said, I had a mild case but trust me; it was not fun.
Now, 6 months later with no other flare ups I was able to get the vaccination to (help) prevent another flare up. There are NO certainties that you won't but the vaccine, reduces it greatly. The chances you will get it again, without it are much higher.
But getting the vaccine was so stressful, I was worried I was going to get another flare up. My doctor said I should get it but she could not give it to me as the vaccine is LIVE, so it must be kept frozen and the office had no way to handle it. I was given a prescription and told to go to the pharmacy, and they could give it to me. BUT they would charge me $200, despite the insurance, yet despite my doctor saying it was 100% 'covered' because they would give me the shot. So then the question was raised if I could I get it at the pharmacy, and then my doctor gives me the shot - again the pharmacy said it was a 'prescription' thus they would charge me $200.
I finally called my insurance and after much explaining and waiting they said to go to a pharmacy with a clinic and that they would have the vaccine and could administer it - all 100% covered since it was a medical and not a prescription. So after more questions as to where this could be done, I was given the name of the clinic at the CVS Clinic about 20 miles way. So I made a reservation and left the house to go there and get it.
But I could not.
For what ever reason, the info my insurance carrier had was "wrong' as the clinic did not have it even though the pharmacy was next to it (inside the CVS store) had it in stock. So after much discussion the Physician's assistant went with me to the pharmacy to find out how we could do it. Luckily I had mentioned that the insurance rep had said "medical" and the pharmacy realized that they could submit the claim NOT as a prescription but as MEDICAL which is maybe what the pharmacy tech did not know the first time. I handed over my 'prescription' and I was able to get the vaccination and did not have to pay anything.
Now, lets discuss the vaccination. IT is ALIVE!!! it is, a mild form of the shingles (herpes zoster) vaccine. Which means that you can have various side effects as your body works to create (more) anti-bodies.
What are they? How about - injection site reactions (redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising, and pain), headache, diarrhea, joint or muscle pain, or skin rash. Most of which I am going through right now. YUCK.
And to top it all off, Elisa of Scotland also got a case of shingles over 6 weeks ago. She caught it early and the doctor prescribed the anti-viral medications but with her chronic-fatigue-syndrome, it has not been easy on her. I can only image how, when she it clear,how the vaccination will affect her.
SO, if you are 60 years of age and/or have a comprised immune system GO talk to your doctor about the vaccination. The shot, even if you get the side effects certainly out way getting one or more shingles outbreaks.