Take Care now offers shingles vaccine


CONSHOCKEN, Pa. Take Care Health Systems, which is owned by Walgreens, has announced that it is now administering the shingles vaccine at all 177 Take Care Health Clinics in 19 markets throughout 14 states.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. Once a person has had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in certain nerves of their system. If the virus becomes active again, usually later in life, it causes a painful rash. The first signs of shingles are often itching, tingling and burning of the skin.

In line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, Take Care Health Clinics will administer the shingles vaccine to adults 60 years of age or older. It is given as a single dose by injection under the skin. The vaccine cannot be used to treat shingles once a person has it, though it may help to prevent further outbreaks, according to the company. The vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it.

According to the CDC, at least one million people in the United States get shingles every year. It is far more common in adults over the age of 50 than in younger people, and age, stress and problems with the immune system may increase the chance of developing shingles.

“Roughly 43 million adults are at risk for the disease. For adults over 60 years old, the vaccine can reduce their chance of getting shingles by half,” stated Sandra Ryan, chief nurse practitioner for Take Care Health Systems. “By expanding access to the vaccine, we hope to give more patients the opportunity to get important preventative care.”

The vaccine may be covered by a patient’s pharmacy benefit. Coverage varies depending on a patient’s individual plan. The cost of the vaccination is $219.99 for uninsured patients or cash payers.

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