IT’S SOMETHING ALL of us over fifty are supposed to get…and yet most of us can’t. Not in Marquette County, or elsewhere in the U.S.
The new shingles vaccine, Shingrix–a series of two shots–is remarkably effective in preventing the painful disease, but the pharmaceutical company producing the vaccine can’t make it fast enough to keep up with the demand.
Shingrix is produced by GlaxoSmithKline and was first approved by the Federal Drug Administration in October of 2017.
“We’ve talked to the pharmaceutical representative and he told us they expect the shortage to probably continue until the end of 2019,” says Jean Reynolds, the clinic coordinator for the Marquette County Health Department.
The problem, she says, is threefold: It’s a relatively new drug, it requires two shots instead of one (with a few months of each other), and the recommended age for getting the vaccine was recently lowered from 60 to 50.
“We have some vaccines in stock, but we have people on a waiting list to get them.” Reynolds says.
Same story at drug stores around Marquette.
Walgreens receives a limited supply but is currently out. It has a long waiting list.
Walmart? Ditto. Nothing in stock now. A long waiting list.
At Peninsula Pharmacy, an employee earlier in the week reported they had a small supply on hand, but didn’t know how long it would last.
Recommendation: Call around, see if Shingrix is in stock and if you can, walk in. If not, get on a waiting list and wait. And hope.
When shingles hits, it’s not pretty. Rashes on the head, face or body. Headaches, fever, chills, stomach problems. Symptoms generally last for two to four weeks.
Who’s likely to get it? Anyone who had chicken pox as a kid. And the risk increases for senior citizens.