SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After a nationwide shortage, a shingles vaccine is now available at a local pharmacy.
In early 2018 the CDC officially recommended the Shingrix vaccine to protect healthy adults age 50 and older from shingles.
Knowing the risks, Teresa Kafkae says she didn’t want to take her chances.
“Just hearing all the possible side effects from not having would make me… scared me enough where I know I needed to get it,” Kafkae said.
While she was able to get the two dose vaccine, many others weren’t as fortunate.
Shortly after the CDC’s recommendation, there was a nationwide shortage of Shingrix.
“The new vaccine to prevent shingles is started at a younger age than the previous vaccine that obviously allowed more patients to be eligible for it, and then it’s great efficacy and then the fact that it is a two dose series required more supply,” Feist said.
Shingles is a viral infection causing a painful rash. While it can strike at any age, being older than 50 puts you at a higher risk.
“Shingles can be anywhere from a minor illness to a severe illness that can have lasting effects where patients have nerve pain that lasts for years,” Feist said.
While many people were able to receive the first dose, when it came time for the second, they were wait listed due to lack of supply from the manufacturer.
Now, Feist says the wait is over.
“We’ve been able to keep it in stock pretty good for awhile but the problem was catching up on wait lists and things and getting ahold of patients but we have been able to do that and people can come in and get the vaccine,” Feist said.
Experts say the second dose of the vaccine is recommended two to six months after the first dose.
Feist says people who have had to wait longer than the recommended time to get the second dose due to the shortage are still eligible to come in.
“It’s recommended to still just get the second dose. You don’t have to repeat the series if you are outside of the two to six month range,” Feist said.
She adds that the vaccine is readily available at all Lewis Drug locations.
The CDC says Shingrix is the preferred vaccine, over the previous vaccine, Zostavax. If you’ve already received Zostavax, it’s still recommended that you receive Shingrix if eligible.