Where Can I Find a Shingrix Vaccine?

Shingles vaccine Shingrix is in significant consumer demand remaining in limited supply

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“It was Friday afternoon and I received the much-anticipated call from Kroger pharmacy in Madeira, Ohio,” said Grace Hake, a 71-year-old grandmother.

The friendly Kroger pharmacist asked, “When can you visit to receive your 2nd dose of the Shingrix vaccine?”

This was great news given the current market vaccine shortages

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According to GSK, the producer of Shingrix, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hake was one of the fortunate individuals given the supply-demand imbalance throughout the USA.

“It is not a manufacturing issue,” says GSK spokesman Sean Clements. “The demand for this vaccine has been unprecedented.”

“We are shipping large volumes of Shingrix every 2 to 3 weeks and expect this schedule to continue for the remainder of the year,” Clements said to the American Council on Science and Health. 

To help reduce consumer frustrations, GSK has launched a Shingrix website that enables an easy search to locate a pharmacy that has the vaccine in stock.

This database is refreshed periodically, but it's a good idea to call the pharmacy to verify the current availability.

Separately, the CDC has published a few Q&As related to the Shingrix vaccine:

Q: Is Shingrix currently on backorder?

A: Yes. GSK has indicated delays may last until the end of 2018. 

Q: What is the clinical guidance during the Shingrix delay?

A: Patients should make every effort to ensure that 2 doses are administered within the recommended interval. If more than 6 months have elapsed since the 1st dose, administer the second dose as soon as possible. Do not restart the vaccine series, and do not substitute Zostavax® (zoster vaccine live) for the second dose of Shingrix.

Q: Is Zostavax still recommended?

Recommended:

A.  CDC still recommends Zostavax for healthy adults 60 years and older to prevent shingles. This shingles vaccine may be used in certain cases, such as when a person prefers Zostavax or requests immediate vaccination and Shingrix is unavailable. Studies confirmed that Shingrix was safe and immunogenic when administered 5 or more years after Zostavax. Intervals shorter than 5 years have not been studied.

Q: How many doses of Shingrix do I need?

A: Shingrix is a two-dose series, regardless of a whether a patient has had shingles or received Zostavax (zoster vaccine live) in the past. You should get the second dose of Shingrix 2 to 6 months after you received the first dose.

Q: How long after a person received chickenpox vaccine should they wait to get Shingrix?

A: Wait a minimum of 8 weeks after a person received Varivax to give Shingrix.

Q: Can I give Shingrix with other adult vaccines?

A: Yes, Shingrix is an inactive vaccine so you can administer it with other inactive or live vaccines.

Q: Can Shingrix be administered to immunocompromised individuals?

A: While Shingrix is not contraindicated in immunocompromised persons, it is not recommended by ACIP at this time.

Additionally, a recent study reported Shingrix may deliver better protection than initially forecasted.

A new analysis of recent phase 3 clinical trials estimated Shingrix's overall vaccine efficacy in reducing shingles illness was 98.4 percent in the first study, and 92.1 percent in the pooled analysis.

Shingrix vaccination appointments can be scheduled at Vax-Before-Travel.  

And, vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.