Oswego County Health Department has Limited Amount of Shingles Vaccine Available

The Oswego County Health Department has received a small amount of Shingles vaccine from the New York State Department of Health to be distributed to Oswego County residents who are uninsured or who have insurance that doesn’t cover the cost of the vaccine.

Shingles is a painful localized skin rash, often with blisters, that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox.

The vaccine for shingles (Zostavax) is recommended for use in people 60 years old and older to prevent shingles.

The older a person is, the more severe the effects of shingles typically are.

The vaccine is recommended for all adults 60 years old or older.

There is no maximum age for receiving the shingles vaccine.

This is a one-time vaccination.

“Even if you have had shingles, you can still receive the shingles vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease,” said Jodi Martin, Supervising Public Health Nurse in Preventive Services with the Oswego County Health Department. “Although there is no specific time that you must wait after having shingles before receiving the vaccine, generally, a person should make sure that the rash has disappeared before getting vaccinated.”

Insurance coverage for the shingles vaccine varies.

Here are some common coverage options:

– Medicare: All Medicare Part D plans cover the shingles vaccine. Depending on your plan, you may or may not need to pay a portion of the total cost for the shingles vaccine. There may be a co-pay for the vaccine, or you may need to pay in full then get reimbursed for a certain amount. Medicare Part B does not cover the shingles vaccine.

– Medicaid: Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine. Contact your insurer to find out.

– Private health insurance: Most private health insurance plans cover the vaccine for people 60 years of age or older. Some plans cover the vaccine for people 50 to 59 years of age. Contact your insurer to find out.

Oswego County residents aged 60 or over, with no insurance coverage, or with insurance that does not cover the cost of shingles vaccine, are asked to contact the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. to see if they are eligible to receive the vaccine through this program.

If eligible, an appointment will be made to receive the vaccine.

No one will receive vaccine without an appointment and without eligibility being verified.

For more information about shingles, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/shingles/fact_sheet.htm