Coronavirus general discussion and chit-chat

An adult should be vaccinated for chickenpox if they’ve never had the vaccine or the disease. As an adult it’s two shots 4-8 weeks apart.

That was my experience. I was twelve. And i had pox everywhere. Including in my esophagus and urethra and the soles of my feet. I couldn’t drink water, it hurt too much. I lived on chicken broth and hard candy.

I have had shingles. Spring of 2004. Fortunately, my GP (of blessed memory) spotted it immediately-- it was on my face near my left eye-- and sent me to an ophthalmologist. She called him and he squeezed me in that very day. She was really on the ball, and old-fashioned Marcus Welby-type. The eye doc started me on antivirals the same day. I don’t remember how long it lasted, several weeks I think, and I still have damage from it, numbness on my eyelid and around my eyebrow. It was confined to my face and head, and very, very painful. I remember going to the hairdresser and weeping from the pain while he trimmed my bangs-- poor guy was beside himself, as he didn’t want to hurt me. I did have chicken pox as a child.

Wondering… do I need a shingles vaccine? It was triggered back then IMHO by an excruciatingly stressful situation I was in at the time. There is nothing in my life now, nor really any possibility of experiencing that level of stress- it was ongoing abuse by another person.

I personally would advise anybody eligible for the shingles vaccine to get it. I also got the disease about ten years ago; it was horrible. I didn’t hesitate to get the vaccine a few years later when I became eligible. Anything to prevent it from happening again.

In this case, misery does not love company, and I’m really sorry you had to go through this, especially at such a young age. It’s a relief, though, to know I’m not the only one to experience the pain, so thanks for sharing that.

I know you need an answer from a nurse like @BippityBoppityBoo. I just wanted to say my unstressed nephew got shingles because his immune system was temporarily weakened. I don’t know how common that cause is, though.

Seems to vary from person to person. When I had it, thought I just had an insect bite high on my forehead (forehead goes way up high these days) - annoying and a bit painful. Didn’t think much of it. It was days before I was pestered to go to the doctor.

Me too, and I had the immediate ophthalmology appointment as well, so it’s a good thing I was pestered.

I’ve known people who would wince when the affected area was touched for months - even years - afterwards; but I just felt a little numb on the upper left side of my face for a few weeks.


Yeah, my husband had a mild case of shingles, on his flank. My grandfather had a moderately serious case of shingles on his face. Shingles varies a lot, like most illnesses.

On another note…Is the Moderna booster likely to get the green light? I know the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness wanes after a time but haven’t heard about Moderna. I’m hopeful that if a Spikevax booster is recommended, it won’t cause side effects. I had kind of a rough go after jab #2–still far better than COVID, of course.

Yes, they’ve asked for approval of a half dose booster, and the FDA will meet on Oct 14 to discuss that

Great. Thanks for the info. A half-dose doesn’t sound too bad.

Yes, definitely get the Shingrix vaccine series. Two doses, 2 to 6 months apart. Shingles can be hideously painful and debilitating and we don’t have overly helpful remedies for it yet. Facial shingles is especially scary since ocular shingles can be blinding.

You can safely get both your flu vaccine and your first Shingrix vaccination on the same visit (different arms is all-I’d choose the arm I don’t sleep on or write with for the Shingix as it is more likely to be ouchy)

Then as soon as the two months is past, get that second Shingrix as shingles is sneaky and can come out of nowhere. The GoodRx site has good ‘coupons’ for Shingrix if your insurance doesn’t pick up the cost as preventative/wellness.

This. My Mom had it in her thirties and had to be admitted to hospital to make sure her eye wasn’t affected, or at least to reduce damage. She came out with her eye intact, but she can still predict the weather with her eyebrow because it tingles whenever air pressure changes rapidly, and that’s forty years later. One of my neigbour’s kids had it recently because she had only very light chickenpox as a baby, so her immune system didn’t form an adequate reaction. It was pretty horrible, very painful and her whole left face was swollen. Shingles follows a very strict neuroanatomical pattern of either the thoracic nerve or, in above cases, the Trigeminus nerve or fifth cranial. Post-herpetic pain on that can be really debilitating. I didn’t know we had a vaccin yet, but I would surely recommend it.

Yep, we do have a good vaccine for it, Shingrix. Recommended for people 50 years old and older.

Somewhere - there’s GOT to be a story about a company that had, say, 102 employees and set up a mandatory vaccine/weekly testing program - and at least three “covidiots” quit. So then the company fell below the employee limits for a required program.

Having known 4 people who got it in their 30s and 40s and 0 in real life who got it older than that (and told me about it. I probably know some who got it older and didn’t mention it), I wonder why they recommend you be so old to get it.

It’s only been tested in people aged 50+. Use earlier than that is off label, but can be done. As I understand it, it could be prescribed for someone younger, if, for example, they’d already gotten shingles multiple times. But it’s only recommended at 50 and up because that’s the population it was tested in, and that’s who gets shingles most often and gets it worse than younger folks.

I did some reading last night: four times as many people under the age of 50 get shingles now than they did in the 1950s, now making up 1/3rd of the cases (and if you get it before 40 it can indicate a cardiac issue). This was apparently something they’d written a bunch of papers about earlier this decade, so it seems strange that this new vaccine hasn’t been tested on younger people at all.


Interesting. I wonder if it will ever get tested, or if off label use will just increase based on studies.

I can’t recall the name of the shingles vaccine that was out before Shingrix, but it was recommended for people over 60. Due to my health history, my docs insisted I get it even though I wasn’t near 60 yet. My insurance wouldn’t cover it for people under 60, so I had to pay out-of-pocket, and it was well over $200.

So I’m wondering if Shingrix isn’t recommended for people under 50 or if it’s just that insurance companies, who play the odds, won’t cover it earlier.

(For the record, I’ve had Shingrix, too, because docs recommended I do so.)

Zostavax was the first one. It has been taken off the US market. I had that one first, then my doc recommended I do the Shingrix when it came out because it’s coverage was so much better. And, having nursed many through shingles. I was mightily motivated to get all 3 jabs!

See @eschrodinger’s post above(~post 875) for the rest of your answer. Once a drug has been approved for one population/disorder, a prescriber can always prescribe it ‘off-label’ for another population/disorder. The trick is if the insurance company will use that ‘off-label’ bit to weasel out of paying. Your friendly pharmacist is a good one to ask about your specific situation with your insurance carrier. GoodRx site always has coupons online that will help bring down the cost of Shingrix. You can just type in your zip code and it will give you a range of price points nearest you. I have never had a pharmacy listed in GoodRx refuse the coupon price. (For my zip code)