Free Shingles Vaccine Provided By Pennsylvania Department of Health

free-shingles-vaccinePrivate insurance can benefit many who have medical conditions. Some insurance companies help pay for prescriptions, doctor visits and vaccines.

However, if for some reason private insurance is not an option, public assistance is available to those who qualify. AARP is another option that can help adults 50 and older pay for prescriptions and vaccines.

Insurance is expensive so the process of choosing to get vaccinated can prove problematic to those who are underinsured or simply have no insurance especially when an illness is detected, such as shingles.

What is Shingles?

Shingles, also known as Zoster comes from a virus called varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which is the same virus that causes chicken pox.

Patients who have had the chicken pox may contract shingles because the VZV lies dormant in the nerve tissue.

The symptoms include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching. Shingles usually start out as a rash on the side of the face or body. The main symptom is pain and can be extremely severe. Other symptoms include fever, headache and chills.

These symptoms are related to those of chicken pox, and can be treated through prescription medication.

However, to prevent this reappearance, health experts recommend getting the vaccine Zostavax. This is personal decision that should not be taken lightly.

It has been estimated that this vaccine could prevent 250,000 cases of shingles that occur in the United States each year, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).      

Eligibility for Free Vaccination

The shingles vaccine was licensed in 2006 and reduced the risk of shingles by 50 percent according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

The Free Vaccination is offered in select locations only, such as Delaware County and Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has supplied about 300 doses of the shingles vaccine at no cost to the county health department. 

Without health insurance the vaccination is $220, however AARP PART D and Medicare covers the cost of the vaccine.

For more information on the shingles vaccine please call your local clinic to check for eligibility or free vaccine information. 

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