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Wednesday July 17, 2019
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drawing of a syringe and a woman

Hot Shot

Like the rest of the country, Ann Arbor is waiting for Shingrix.

by Eve Silberman

From the January, 2019 issue

Want the new, highly touted shingles vaccine? Happy hunting! In December, a pharmacy employee at the Maple Rd. Kroger told an anxious caller that eighty people were on the waiting list ahead of her. The nationwide shortage of Shingrix frustrates older Ann Arborites seeking protection against the painful, often blistering skin rash (which is caused by the same virus as chicken pox). Recommended for people fifty and older and those with compromised immune systems, the two-part vaccine is so effective that doctors suggest it even for patients who've had an older shingles vaccine. Manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) says it was overwhelmed by the "unprecedented" demand.

Here and there, the vaccine gets through. An employee at the CVS "Minute Clinic" on State St. said in December that the clinic was signing up patients for the few doses it had (noting, though, that Medicare will not cover the cost until January). A Walgreens pharmacist said that in December, small orders of Shingrix were arriving "every few weeks." He said that GSK told pharmacies that everything will be fine by January--but added, "I don't believe it for one minute."     (end of article)

[Originally published in January, 2019.]

 



 
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