It is said that the high shingles vaccine cost is the reason why people are not getting this vaccine administered. This article gives you information about the cost of this vaccine…
Shingles, also referred to as herpes zoster, is a skin condition that is generally found in older individuals who have been diagnosed with chickenpox earlier. It is nothing serious to be worried about, but is really painful. It is caused by the same virus that was responsible for chickenpox in the past. Even after the treatment and cure of chickenpox, the virus lives on in the nerve cells and shows its aftereffects later in life, resulting in shingles. Shingles too has a vaccine for prevention, just like for preventing other conditions.
About Shingles Vaccine
Vaccine for shingles was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006, after the successful trial involving thousands of participants. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has taken certain preventive measures for this skin condition. This authority advises people above 60 to be administered with Zostavax shingles vaccine as a step for prevention. Note that this vaccine does not help in treating ongoing shingles. As per a survey, it has been reported that Zostavax is proven effective to reduce the risk by 50%.
Shingles Vaccine Cost
As the cost of the shingles vaccine is far more than that of vaccines to prevent other conditions, a majority of older people do not opt for it. The primary criteria for finding out how much you will have to pay for the vaccine is whether you are covered by a health insurance plan. Those covered with the Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan will find it affordable, whereas those without this benefit will have to bear the total expenses.
The cost of a shingles vaccine includes the administration fee of a dose, the price of vaccine, and the consultation fee if you are getting the procedure done from a different medical facility other than that of your family doctor. ‘Merck’, the manufacturer of the Zostavax vaccine, has priced a single shot for about $150. So, without a health insurance coverage, you may have to pay about $220 to $250, sometimes even $300 as the total cost of getting vaccinated against shingles.
For those covered with a health insurance plan or Medicare Part D plan, you would usually need to pay just a part of the doctor’s visit fee rather than the whole vaccine cost. Private health insurance plan holders need to get in touch with their service providers to understand what all expenses are covered in this case. It is also suggested to browse through your state health plan to check if the vaccine costs are covered by it.
Some older people do not take this vaccine just because they are living on social security benefits and cannot afford to spend about $300 for a single shot. Owing to this, there are some health departments of certain states that have offered the vaccine at a very low cost. The Effingham County Health Department in Georgia, Camden County Health Department in New Jersey, and Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness in Kentucky are few of such entities who have offered low-cost shingles vaccination programs. After meeting certain conditions, a person can get the vaccine at a cost of mere $10 to $15 in these programs.
Since the average cost of the vaccine comes to about $250, most people above 60 still have not been vaccinated. On the contrary, low cost vaccination programs offered in some counties, shows that many people have recently received benefits at a very affordable price. Do not opt for this vaccine if you are below 60, as the effects are only studied for those above a certain age. The vaccination is not recommended for those who have allergies and for pregnant women.