Free shingles vaccine clinics will be held this month for Newton residents age 60 and up who meet need-based criteria. The Health & Human Services Department is taking appointments. Check with your primary health care provider to see if the shingles vaccine is right for you. Then call 617-796-1420 to see if you qualify and to make your appointment.
Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters. The rash usually appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from two to four weeks. Its main symptom is pain, which can be severe. Other symptoms of shingles can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. For about 1 person in 5, severe pain can continue even long after the rash clears up. This is called post-herepetic neuralgia.
Shingles is more common in older people than in younger people. At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles. Shingles is not transmitted from one person to another. It occurs in people who have had the chickenpox. The chickenpox virus stays in the body and causes shingles later in life, often when the body’s immune responses are weakened.
The vaccine is for people age 60 and up. Those with weakened immune systems should not get the vaccine. People on certain medications should not get the vaccine. It is important to check with your primary care provider to make sure the vaccine is safe for you.
For more information or to make an appointment, call the Health Department 617-796-1420.