Shingles Vaccine Shortage: What You Must Know

Many people have asked a doctor about the new shingles vaccine. Chances are you had to be put on a waiting list to get it. The vaccine available in 2019 is nearly 50% more effective in past years and the company that makes it is having trouble keeping up with the high demand.

"It's really a problem. I think that no one wants to get shingles," said KOAT medical expert Dr. Barry Ramo.

He said if you've ever had chickenpox or are over the age of 60, shingles is something that should be on your mind.

"Shingles is a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox and the problem is that it creates a rash which goes along the lines of a nerve," Ramo said.

He said to avoid getting shingles you should get vaccinated. In 2019, the vaccine, Shingrix, is 90% effective, compared to the older vaccine that was only 50% effective.

"It's so much better to have this new vaccine," Ramo said.

Many people are having a hard time getting it. People are rushing to their local pharmacies to get that shingles vaccine, but when they get there they're met with a waiting list.

"I have been to three pharmacies, at least, to try to get my shingles vaccine. The first one has a 100-person waiting list, the last one had 400 people on the waiting list," said Suzanne Murphy, who wants to get a shingles vaccination.

The vaccine is in high demand.

"If you're going to have it promoted, then why is it not available? That's my point," Murphy said.

Ramo said the company that makes it is having a hard time keeping up with that demand, not only in New Mexico, but nationwide.

"I've tried to get the vaccine and we can't. It's on back order," Ramo said.

He said the best thing you can do, if you are looking to get this vaccination, is to get your name on waiting lists as soon as possible. There is a Shingrex website that lets you know the closest places to go where you can get the vaccine, but it does not tell you if it is in stock, so you'll have to call each place.

READ MORE: > Shingles vaccine in high demand, causing nationwide shortage

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