You might not know about shingles first-hand, but it’s an extremely painful condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Individuals have an increased case of contracting it if they’ve ever had chicken pox, or if they’re over 50, with a weakened immune system.
It’s been described as “being wrapped in flaming barbed wire” and “a mix of electrical shock and small needles”, shingles with others even saying that it hurt to wear clothes for a month. People say it’s been one of the most uncomfortably excruciating experiences of their lives, and it can leave them with destroyed nerves and nerve pain, bad infections, and an increased chance of heart attacks or strokes.
Fortunately, a new vaccine called Shingrinx is on the market in Canada in January, and it improves protection by up to 97 percent, with resounding success in multiple clinical studies.
We’re not sure exactly what the deal with health plan coverage will be yet, but it’s clocking in a bit pricey at $244, and that’s not even with the additional fees that doctors will sell. It would require two shots, two to six months apart – but their competitor Zostavax only has a 1 time administration, and you can get it in Ontario for $177 (but only if you’re in the small age window of 65-70.
There’s no doubt that thought public health systems are complicated, Canadian citizens have a better chance of getting their hands on prescriptions without getting robbed blind, as their American counterparts might.
While Zostavax has its benefits, the slightly more expensive Shingrix had more widespread success and the positive statistics dominated those of Zostavax.
Sufferers of shingles are emphatic that those who haven’t faced shingles before getting the vaccine, and the ACIP (U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) agrees, even giving Shingrinx coveted preferential status. Hopefully, the leaps and bounds in the chickenpox vaccine uptake will prevent shingles on its own, but in the meantime, protect yourself from these terrifying testimonies – once the virus is contracted, the intense side effects and consequences can last for years.