Shingles Vaccine So Effective, Now There’s a Shortage

  • There is a shortage of the shingles vaccine Shingrix due to consumer demand because of its effectiveness.
  • The vaccine is for people over the age of 50, especially those individuals who had chickenpox as children.
  • Experts say the vaccine can still be found at pharmacies as well as doctors’ offices.

A vaccine for a preventable infection that typically affects older adults is currently in short supply.

The company that makes it says the shortage has occurred because the vaccine works so well and the publicity surrounding its effectiveness is driving up demand.

The drug is called Shingrix. It’s a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent herpes zoster infection, more commonly known as shingles.

The shortage isn’t sounding many alarms, but it’s important to note as the vaccine is the new default against preventable infections that can cause serious concerns in populations at higher risk of death or other complications from the infection.

In this case, older generations would rather not deal with another round of this painful rash.

Who needs the vaccine?

Shingrix is recommended for adults ages 50 and older.

This group of older adults is supposed to get one shot and then another 6 months later to protect them from the painful, potentially blistering rash that can take up to a month to heal.

People who have had chickenpox are more susceptible to shingles, a concern for many who lived through the times when chickenpox was common.

In the early 1990s, before a vaccine became available, an estimated 4 million chickenpox infections were reported each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).