As a kid, do you recall having periodic shots at a doctor’s visit?  For flu prevention. Perhaps a booster to combat the flu.

As an adult, I started including cortizone injections as part of my regimen, to combat pain, Like carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist, and shots in my lower back, to ease arthritic and pinched-nerve issues.,

Have you had your shingles shots?

But there was a pair of injections I had over the past four years, to prevent a shingles attack, where you can have blistering rashes anywhere on your body. Some have the shingles on their faces, if you can imagine.

So I ask now: Have you had a shingles shot? One or two?

OK, OK, OK. Enough about shots, right? The coronavirus pandemic has been an invasive species, making many shy away from being vaccinated.

But shingles is another issue. As health folks indicate, shingles is sneaky, caused by the same virus as chickenpox. No one is happy, getting shots. But vaxxing means prevention.

And if you’re over 50 years old, the shingles shots – one, then another later –is highly recommended. Why? Because stats show 1 in 3 people will get shingles. And shingles is not pretty, but highly painful, like a bad, blistering rash, and it could be incapacitating, if you get a bad attack.

Flu shots matter, too.

I’ve had both shots over the past four years. When the battle call was sounded several years ago — that seniors over 50 should get those shots —  it was virtually impossible to even sign up for the procedure. The serum supply here was scarce; most doctors didn’t have it, pharmacies like CVS Longs and Walgreens couldn’t get ‘em. Strangely, Safeway with pharmacies had supplies, but the waiting list was so long, the pharmacy shut down its waitlist.

Eventually, I found an independent supplier and was able to get the first, then the second. Once you have both shots, you’re done.

Lest you forget, we’ve become beings that try to get annual shots to lessen the chances of catching the winter flu. And every season, the shots change because the flu attack heightens.

Sure, making the effort to receive any shot takes time and effort. The trade off is if you catch the disease of the moment, your period of recuperation will be easier and faster.

“Shingles rarely kills you,” says William Schaffner, M.D., a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, “but it can make you wish you were dead.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says Shingrix, the vaccine it approves for shingles prevention, is “spectacularly effective”. The shot is 97 per cent successful in preventing those in their 50s and 60s from catching the rash, and 91 per cent for those 70s and older.

Something to consider when you get your annual fall/winter flu shot.

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