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Shingles vaccine to be available in January

ABOYNE - If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, a vaccine that can decrease the chance of developing shingles could be a welcome option.

In January, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) will offer that option to people 50 and older with the vaccine Zostavax.

“It’s not a publicly funded vaccine, so you have to pay for it,” said program manager, Susan Otten.

“But it is effective in the prevention of the disease and the problems that develop from shingles.”

 That is a painful disease that causes a rash that can last several weeks and lead to skin infections, scarring and even long-term nerve pain. The pain of shingles can be so severe it affects a person’s quality of life.

Shingles come from the same virus that causes chickenpox. Once people have had chickenpox, the virus remains in the body.

If it becomes active again, it can cause shingles. About one third of people will develop shingles at some time in their life.

The vaccine is not a treatment for shingles and it cannot prevent chickenpox. However, anyone who has had shingles before can benefit from having the vaccine.

Those currently with shingles or just recovered from it  should see their health care provider before receiving the vaccine.

The cost for Zostavax is $195 and it is currently in short supply. People interested in being placed on a waiting list can contact WDGPH at 1-800-265-7293 extension 4844.

The vaccine will be available at Public Health’s Aboyne, Guelph and  Orangeville offices effective January.

For more information visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca.

 

December 16, 2011

 
 

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