MedBytes – Vaccines
Information for you about certain vaccines.
There are now two different Shingles vaccines on the market currently.
The older one (Zostavax) is estimated to only be about 50% effective in preventing someone from getting Shingles.
The latest one (Shingrix) is the recommended Shingles vaccine. It has had such a massive response that the manufacturer is having a hard time keeping up the pace with making enough of it for all the people who want or need the vaccine.
Shipments have been delayed, and pharmacies have waiting lists of people who want/need the vaccine.
Another contribution to the problem is that Shingrix is a 2-part vaccine. You get your first shot, and two-to-six months later, you have to go back for the second, booster shot. You are not fully covered without that second dose.
What to do if you can’t find availability (which is said to be limited probably throughout all of 2019)?
The CDC recommends that, if you miss the 6-month window, you get it as soon as you possibly can.
You should NOT ask for the other Shingles vaccine for your second dose if the pharmacy doesn’t have Shingrix.
Also, if you have previously had the Zostavax and want to get Shingrix, the minimum wait time is 8 weeks.
The CDC has a vaccine finder so you can try to find available doses in your area.
This is another vaccine that, if you need it, you have to take a series of shots.
This time, 2 to 4 shots (depending on the brand and your age/health status) over a 2-to-6-month period.
A 3-dose regimen looks like this:
Difference between this and the Shingrix series is, you’re protected against Hepatitis B after the second shot, as long as your body has converted the antibodies to protect you.
(As an aside, the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) has this happen, also. Some people don’t have protection, though they have had the vaccine several times. It may happen with others that I am not aware of, also.)
What does that mean? I may not be protected?
Some people get the series, and never know that their body didn’t make the antibodies (the protective proteins) to protect them against the disease.
A small percent of the population doesn’t develop the proteins needed for protection after being vaccinated.
Your doctor would have to order a lab test to check your antibodies.
Vivotif (oral typhoid vaccine)
Most people won’t have to worry about this one, as we don’t have typhoid in the USA currently. If you’re traveling overseas (or even to Mexico), however – this one is recommended.
The main things:
- It’s a big capsule. Get ready to drink a lot of water to wash it down.
- The capsules MUST be refrigerated until use.
- Doses are taken 1 dose per day, EVERY OTHER day, for 4 doses.
- Take them on an empty stomach. Probably best first thing in the morning, an hour before you eat anything.
What questions do you have? Is there a vaccine you would like to see added here?