Albuquerque metro experiences shortage of shingles vaccine | KOB 4
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Albuquerque metro experiences shortage of shingles vaccine

Emily Jaceks
November 05, 2018 07:16 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Call it a second a round of the chicken pox, just with a bit of a different look.

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“It actually is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox in children,” Dr. Melissa Martinez, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of New Mexico.

For most people, the virus takes a really long nap in the nerves. But for others, it waits until the opportune time to wake up, then produces a ring of fire.

“As we get older, if they're immunocompromised or other things are going on, they get shingles,” Dr. Martinez said.

Big, painful rashes that can appear anywhere on the body, and hurt long after the breakout is gone.

“People who get it around their face and get it in their eye can go blind,” Dr. Martinez said.

And don't waste your time and money on the old vaccine, Zostavax.  

“That vaccine never worked as well as we would have liked. It had efficacy of about 40 percent,” Dr. Martinez said.

Instead, get Shingrix, a new vaccine on the market, given in two doses, to those 50 and older. But you may have trouble finding it.

“It’s been unbelievably popular, and the manufacturer hasn't had time to really rev up their manufacturing,” Dr. Martinez said.

Glaxo Smith Kline is doing their best to send out small quantities of about 10 doses to each pharmacy that places an order.

“So the best thing that people can do if they want to get a shot is go to a pharmacy and ask to be on a waiting list,” Dr. Martinez said.

We called a number of pharmacies throughout the metro. We couldn't find one that had a vaccine available until at least the end of November.

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Emily Jaceks

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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