Citizens Memorial Hospital | Vitality | Summer 2020

COMMUNITY STAYING HEALTHY If you’re getting ready to celebrate your 50th birthday, here’s something important you can do to help stay healthy in the years to come: Get the shingles vaccine. Getting this recommended vaccine is the best way to avoid shingles—an illness characterized by a rash of fluid-filled blisters that some people say is as painful as giving birth or passing a kidney stone. Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus, which stays dormant in the body and can appear again years later as shingles. This means you can get shingles if you’ve ever had chickenpox, which the vast majority of people over 40 have had—even if they don’t remember it. MORE THAN PAINFUL Shingles sometimes leads to nerve pain that can linger for months or years. Less often, shingles can cause blindness and, very rarely, pneumonia, hearing problems, brain inflammation or death. Fortunately, the shingles vaccine is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and its most common complications. For ideal shingles protection, experts recommend getting two doses of a newer vaccine, called Shingrix, two to six months apart. You should get the Shingrix vaccination even if you have already: » » Received an older, different shingles vaccine called Zostavax. » » Had shingles. You can get shingles more than once. Studies show that the shingles vaccine is safe. The most common side effect is mild to moderate arm pain that lasts a few days. Have questions about shingles shots? Talk to your health care provider to learn more. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Turning 50? Time for the shingles vaccine 4 VITALITY Summer 2020