Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: shingles | vaccine | response rate | older adults | American Academy of Family Physicians | chicken pox virus | vitamin B12

Skip the Shingles Vaccine

Monday, 12 Dec 2011 08:57 AM

Question: I heard a scientist say that it’s very important that people over 60 get the shingles vaccine. I’m not 60 yet, but do you think I should get vaccinated?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

Shingles is a miserable illness caused by a reactivation of the chicken pox virus (herpes zoster). Shingles usually occurs in older people. Unfortunately, my research has shown that the vaccine is ineffective for the vast majority of people who receive it.

In fact, most vaccines have a poor response in older patients. And the shingles vaccine is expensive — about $200. With an effectiveness rate of just 0.26 percent (according to the American Academy of Family Physicians), it’s not worth the cost.

It is better to eat a healthy diet and maintain optimal vitamin B12 levels to help prevent shingles.

© HealthDay

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The shingles vaccine has a poor response rate among older adults.
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