Pharmacies impacted by nationwide shingles vaccine shortage

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The CDC recommends getting the shingles vaccine at 50 years old or older.

The problem is it’s out of stock.

The shingles vaccine shortage is a nationwide problem that’s hitting central New York hard.

Some pharmacies have up to 200 people on their waiting lists.

“Everybody who’s turning 50 or 60 who wants this shingles shot, to begin with, is coming in now, all those patients who were vaccinated with the initial vaccination are also coming in and I think that’s why the demand is so high that they just can’t keep up with it,” said Vincent Chiffy of Parkway Drugs in Utica, NY. 

The pharmacy owner says the vaccine could be in by the end of December or early 2019.

The CDC recommends that people who have had the chicken pox and are over the age of 50 get vaccinated.

“It’s the chickenpox virus so once you have the chicken pox when you’re younger it goes dormant the actual virus and it goes it actually settles into the nerve endings in your body. So that’s why when it comes back out as shingles when you’re older it’s so painful because that virus is still in the year and it’s in your nerve endings,” Chiffy said.

The shingles vaccination has to be taken in two doses months apart, which could be an urgent matter for people looking to get their second dose of the vaccine.

“The first dose brings the antigen levels up which is your immune system Response so you don’t get the shingles. The second dose is needed to bring the antigen levels up to where they are needed to be. So it’s really important that they get the second dose,” Chiffy said.

Many pharmacies are waiting for the vaccination. Some pharmacies are waiting for the vaccination from the same supplier.

“We don’t really feel we are competing against each other we more or less feel like we have to get people a vaccination. we don’t care if they go to Walmart, or Rite Aid, or ourselves. (The) important thing is everybody gets vaccinated,” Chiffy said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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