Shingrix Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Shingrix is a part of the vaccination class that treats shingles, a blistering skin eruption which often affects those older than 50.

As of January 2018, the CDC made its formal recommendation for this vaccine, and according to its report, the study found this new vaccination appears to offer much better protection against shingles in comparison to other brands on the market.

Today, it is only available as a brand name drug.

Shingrix Cost
Vaccination” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by theglobalpanorama

How much does Shingrix cost?

The cost of the Shingrix vaccination, like other vaccinations, will depend on your insurance coverage and where you get your vaccination.  For those who do not have insurance, the average cost for the vaccination at your local pharmacy could cost $135 to $165 per dosage, meaning a total of about $280 to $330, while the prices could be more at your local doctor’s office, often $50 to $80, seeing you would have to pay the office examination fee.

According to Consumer Reports, the cost of the vaccination, with co-pays and deductibles set aside, will cost about $280.  The same figure was based on an estimate from GSK, the manufacturer of the vaccination, via the New York Times.

As for those with a health insurance plan, GoodRX.com notes most Medicare plans will not cover this vaccination, with the reported co-pay range being $161.  This doesn’t mean they will not accept it in the future, however, as the vaccination is still considered to be relatively new.  Seeing health insurance companies and Medicare cover the competitor, Zostavax, there’s a good chance this vaccination, over time, will be covered as well.  Be sure to check with your insurance company regardless to know their stance at this time.

Recommendations

The CDC recommends the Shingrix vaccination as a two-dose vaccine — starting at age 50, 10 years earlier than its competitor, Zostavax.  The second dosage, as per the Pharmacy Times, will be recommended between two to six months after the first 0.5-milliliter dosage.

Aside from this recommendation the CDC also recommends people who already received the Zostavax vaccination should receive this one as well as it is now the officially preferred vaccination over Zostavax, which is only a single-dose vaccination.  Even those who had shingles in the past should receive the Shingrix since the virus can reoccur.  There will be no maximum age for the vaccination.

You should not consider the vaccination if you had a severe allergic reaction to the ingredients in the past, currently have shingles or an illness, and/or are currently pregnant or breastfeeding.

Shingrix side effects

As with any vaccinations, side effects can occur, however, according to clinical trials of more than 16,000 people, none that seemed worrisome, but in the real-world, it has been limited.  Known to cause more pain at the injection site for up to three days in comparison to Zostavax, other side effects, much like other vaccinations, may include redness/swelling at the injection site, headaches, shivering, fever, upset stomach or flu-like symptoms.  According to its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, most of these side effects, if experienced, lasted no longer than three days.

Tips to know

Shingrix is the first shingles vaccination in more than 10 years that was approved by the FDA, only second to Zostavax, which was the first.

Aside from the CDC accepting this vaccination, Consumer Reports stated the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) came out with three recommendations for the vaccination as well.

The Shingrix vaccination is 97 percent more effective in preventing shingles for those ages 50 to 69 years old and 91 percent effective for those older than 70, according to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.  In comparison to Zostavax, its competitor, it was only found to be 70 percent effective while in your 50s and less than 18 percent effective in your 80s.  Not only this, the vaccination has been proven to be better at preventing nerve pain, a common symptom which occurs even after the shingles clear — being about 90 percent effective in doing so in comparison to Zostavax, only being 65 percent effective.


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