Healthy Living: FDA says new shingles vaccine is 20 percent more effective than previous vaccines

If you’ve had chickenpox, then you’re at risk for shingles the older you get.

Now, there’s a new vaccine to treat the virus that’s more effective than the previous shingles vaccine and doctors say adults over 50 should plan to roll up their sleeves again.

The new vaccine is called Shingrix and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting it, especially for adults 50 and older.

Anyone who has had chickenpox is at risk of a shingles outbreak and while shingles itself is not contagious, the virus that triggers it is.

Meaning anyone who’s never had chickenpox can catch it just by exposure to someone with an active shingles outbreak.

The CDC says almost 1 in 3 Americans in their lifetime will get shingles.

The painful, itchy, blistering rash that tends to occur on one side of the body, can last for two weeks and flare up for no reason.

So here are some helpful tips to treat shingles:

  • Keep the rash open to the air and wear loose clothing
  • Only bandage the sores if you live with or are around children or adults who have never had chickenpox.
  • Alleviate some symptoms by applying baking soda, medicated lotion or with a cool compress on the affected area. 

The FDA said the new vaccine Shingrix is 97 percent effective in preventing the virus in people 50 to 69 years old. That’s a 20 percent improvement over the previous shingles vaccine.

It will likely be recommended even for those already inoculated with the older vaccine. 

Categories: Healthy Living