Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Shingles Vaccination

Monday, 22 Jun 2009 03:50 PM

Question: I am 65 years old. Should I get a shingles vaccination? I had a light case of shingles in the past and my doctor says if you have had shingles, there is no need for the shot.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:

You should request the shingles vaccine, despite having had a prior episode of shingles. The shingles vaccination prevents shingles in 51 percent of those immunized, and prevents the painful neuralgia in 67 percent. Shingles is the reactivation of the chickenpox virus that most of us encountered in childhood. It is characterized by a localized painful blistering skin eruption that ends at the midline of the body and affects local and adjacent nerves. The shingles vaccine also is indicated in people over 60 regardless of whether the previous chickenpox disease or vaccine was documented, and regardless of previous incidence of shingles. The shingles vaccine does help prevent shingles in all patients, including those patients who have had episodes of shingles. Please enlighten your doctor, and request that he review the literature from the manufacturer of Zostavax, the shingles vaccine, and the current CDC recommendations for zoster vaccination.




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