The Effingham County Health Department is now able to provide the shingles vaccine, also known as ZOSTAVAX®, for only a small administrative fee of $14 to those who meet certain criteria.
To qualify for the vaccine, men and women must be 60 or older and meet one of the following criteria:
• Have Medicaid
• Be Medicare eligible; secondary insurance does not provide vaccine coverage
• Have health insurance that does not cover the cost of ZOSTAVAX
• Have no health insurance
Shingles is a burning rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body. Usually the virus does not cause any problems; however, the virus can reappear years later, causing shingles. The risk for getting shingles is higher in those over age 60.
“Shingles can be a very painful disease that can sometime cause long-term health problems,” said Cindy Grovenstein, Effingham County Health Department nurse manager. “Previously the high cost of this vaccine prohibited many senior adults from seeking protection against this debilitating disease. “By offering the shingles vaccine at such a nominal fee, we hope to increase the number of senior adults protected against shingles.”
ZOSTAVAX is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for those over the age of 60 and has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A small administrative fee of $14 will be charged for each dose; however, no one will be denied services because of inability to pay. Normal cost of the vaccine is approximately $200 per dose.