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Shingles Vaccination and Scleroderma

7 posts in this topic

I have CREST syndrome since 1990. I am female, 56 and under the minimum age standard of 60. Is there any reason why a CREST patient should not get the vaccine? Would they give it to me if under 60? Thank you!

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Hi Suzanne,


Welcome to Sclero Forums! I'm sorry its because you have scleroderma, but it certainly the right spot for you to be and we welcome you with open arms.


Here is a link to some information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on Shingles Vaccination.


If your doctor feels you are otherwise qualified for it, they still might prefer to wait until you are 60. Insurance doesn't always cover it. Generally speaking the shot costs somewhere around $150 or more.


The shot also does not entirely prevent shingles; but it does reduce the odds by 50%. There are warnings regarding compromised immune systems (by illness or medication), so if you still want the shot you'll need to review your particular risks/benefits with your doctor.

Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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Hello Suzanne


I don't have anymore information to add but wanted to say welcome to the forum and keep posting.


Take care.

Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

ISN Blogger

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi Suzzanne, welcome to the Forums. Shelley is correct about the shots being expensive and insurance being unwilling to cover them. One friend of mine paid $250.


I'd be interested to hear what your doctor says about whether the shots are safe for people with compromised immune systems.


This snippet from the National Institutes of Health's page on Shingles was interesting:


"About 25 percent of all adults, mostly otherwise healthy, will get shingles during their lifetimes, usually after age 40. The incidence increases with age so that shingles is 10 times more likely to occur in adults over 60 than in children under 10. People with compromised immune systems - from use of immunosuppressive medications such as prednisone, from serious illnesses such as cancer, or from infection with HIV - are at special risk of developing shingles. These individuals also can have re-eruptions and some may have shingles that never heals. Most people who get shingles re-boost their immunity to VZV and will not get the disease for another few decades."


I've had shingles since beginning an immune sytem suppressant and would really rather not have them again.


Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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Hi - you have to discuss with your own Dr of course... I have diffuse form and my rheumatologist advises against my getting or my husband getting the vaccine.


I've had shingles multiple times - the first being the worst. It's horrible, but there are some effective meds for it and the post-herpetic pain. The key is recognize it early.


Just my experience... Best of luck!

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