Dear Dr. Roach • In your recent column referring to the shingles vaccine, you do not point out younger adults. My son had an extremely bad case of chickenpox when he was only 6 months old. He is now 40 years old, and earlier this year had an attack of shingles that affected the area behind his ear. He wanted to get the shingles vaccine to hopefully avoid a repeat of this and was informed he was too young and would need to wait till he is 50 to get it. Is he to stay prone to this for another ten years? What is your opinion on this circumstance?– L.C.
Response • The shingles vaccine has only been checked in adults over age 50, and hence is not suggested for younger ages by the Food and Drug Administration. The vaccine is particularly essential in older people due to the fact that shingles is more common and has a greater danger of complications in older people. Individuals in their 40s are at low danger for complications. Individuals who have already had shingles are still advised for the vaccine once they are 50, but are at lower danger from shingles than those who have not had shingles.
Providing the vaccine to a more youthful individual would likely work. This is a new vaccine, and although it appears to confer lasting immunity, it is not understood whether it is lifelong. It would likewise not be covered by insurance coverage, and is $155 for each of two dosages on the Goodrx app. Personally, I would not suggest it, but it’s not out of the question. Beyond negative effects of the shingles vaccine– which are often even worse than an influenza shot– there is little danger from the shingles shots.
Dear Dr. Roach • I am an 88-year-old female. I have had extreme burping for nine months. I have tried many medications and home remedies, but nothing has helped. Have you become aware of this problem? I need to ride three and a half hours to see an expert doctor.— C.M.