Shingles is a condition that is usually easily preventable with one vaccine. However, recent developments may indicate otherwise - a single dose of the herpes zoster vaccine may not be quite enough.
After studying 600 American residents aged 50 years and older, new research shows us that booster doses of the vaccine should be given earlier rather than later, in order to induce effective immune responses in patients older than 70 years.
“During aging, there is a progressive decline in immune responsiveness to vaccination and a shortening of the duration of vaccine-induced immunity,” wrote Dr. Myron J. Levin of the University of Colorado, Denver and his associates.
This certainly makes credible the theory that although it is better to get your shingles shot earlier on in life, those who are approaching 70 years can, and should get a booster shot to strengthen and maintain that immunity. Moreover, shingles can lead to long-term itching later on, and a booster shot would certainly ensure this could be prevented.
If you’ve never had the vaccine, I would suggest at least getting your first one by 60, and your second by the time you are 70. Even better, health insurance usually covers this booster vaccine for seniors, so there is no reason to make sure you get it done!