shingles vaccineKnow anyone who has had Shingles? It is truly dreadful! I have a neighbor who had it twice in 2011. Both times she had to go on pain medications to cope with the pain from Shingles, missed work and was miserable.

The good news is there is a vaccine. The bad news is that it is an expensive mixture and most insurance companies will not cover the expense until you are 60 years old! Of course this doesn’t make any sense and there is talk that the age will be lowered to age 50 in the future.

I turned 60 this year and tops on my list was to get my Shingles vaccine. One shot and it is good for life. I have health insurance so it really seemed like a no brainer. Right after my birthday I had a bad cold. Remnant of the cold I had a cold sore. I waited for these to clear before getting my shot. While I waited, my husband, who also turned 60, waltzed into his Doctor’s office and they gave him his shot without an appointment or copay!

My doctor is in a small clinic and I called to make sure they stock the vaccine. No, they did not. I stopped at my husband’s doctor’s office, a multi-location practice and was turned away because I was not their patient. I called my insurance company and was told to go to a Rite Aid or Walgreens for the inoculation.

I spent 27 years in pharmaceutical sales. I called on doctors and at times pharmacists. Don’t get me wrong I love pharmacists, they are smart but are they trained to give me a shot? How many do they give in a day or a year? Pharmacists, do they really want to touch people’s skin like other health clinicians? I called my insurance company again and was told another option, the Safeway store. A grocery store? No, I did not want to get an inoculation while I grocery shopped!

Am I making a huge issue out of nothing? Perhaps. I called my doctor again. She thought if she sent a prescription for the Shingle vaccine to a Rite Aid store close to her office I could pick it up and bring it to her office and some one could give it to me. By this point I was ready to inject myself!

With the sound track from Mission Impossible going through my head, I called the planned Rite Aid store to make sure all was set for ‘Plan Shingles Vaccine’ only to be told they would not release the vials to me. Why not just come in and their pharmacist would inoculate me was their suggestion since they had my prescription ready?

I surrendered. I reluctantly walked into said Rite Aid store and waited 45 minutes until my name was called. A young man directed me to a little room. Although I was assured he was a pharmacist because I saw his diploma on the wall, he looked 14. He must have sensed my reluctance, or was it the tension in my arm or my question if he learned how to give shots in Pharmacy College? He told me he had never given an inoculation before and smiled broadly when I looked at him and plunged the needle into my arm!

I got my Shingles Vaccine. How about you?



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