Sunday, October 9, 2011


My Mom is 79 years old.

I've been meaning, for sometime now, to remind her to get the shingles vaccine.

It's the newest adult vaccine and it's use had not yet been part of my standard recommendations for folks over age 60.

I forgot to tell her.

She is in the midst of a shingles outbreak now.

She's been miserable, and she's a tough cookie (she's also a long term breast cancer survivor).

I feel terrible for her.

Even though it's not nearly as effective as many vaccines, in clinical trials involving thousands of adults 60 years and older, the vaccine reduced the risk of shingles by about half (51%) and the risk of (the dreaded) post-herpetic neuralgia by 67%.

The value of the vaccine now "hits home."

It will now become part of my health maintenance recommendations for older folks.

That's the only good thing that has come from my Mom's misery.

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