The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has shingles vaccines available, and area seniors are encouraged to get immunized.
Currently, qualifying low-income seniors can get a shingles vaccine at the Public Health Clinic in Eureka for a reduced cost.
Shingles vaccines are available at the clinic year-round, but at their regular price, which can be as high as $225.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in three people in the United States will develop shingles. Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, though the risk of disease increases as a person gets older. About half of all cases occur among people 60 or older. Those with weak immune systems are also more susceptible to shingles.
Shingles usually start as a painful rash on one side of the face or body, according to the CDC. The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in seven to 10 days and clear up within two to four weeks.
The Zostavax vaccine lowers the chances a person will get shingles. It also shortens and lessens the severity if shingles is contracted and prevents long-term pain that can occur after shingles.
For vaccine questions and information about how to qualify for the reduced rate and to schedule an appointment, please call the Public Health Clinic at 707-268-2108. The clinic is located at 529 I St. in Eureka.
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