Many people make well intended New Years Resolutions that many times fall by the wayside. How about making a new Years Resolution that is easy to keep? That would be it you are over 50 years of age, get on the list for the new shingles vaccine Shingrix. The new Shingrix vaccine is 90 percent effective at preventing shingles. Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus.

Most of us had chicken pox when we were kids, along with mumps and measles. It was part of growing up, you got all those childhood diseases. Parents today can have their children vaccinated for all those diseases, but they were not available when we were growing up. If you had chicken pox you got over the disease. Those little blisters scabbed over and eventually healed.

However, while you got over chicken pox the virus is still in your body, just dormant. As we get older typically our immune system is not as effective, or if there is some type of stress  the dormant chicken pox virus can become active again resulting in shingles. In the picture is a shingles outbreak on a man's upper body. The ugly rash can be very painful and last for a long time.

The shingles can be very serious if the outbreak is in your eye for example. Our son in law Mike said years ago his grandfather died of shingles. I did not ask if there were other health issues with his grandfather. He ended up in the local hospital, was transferred to a Twin Cities hospital and died. The shingles likely started the cascade of issues that led to his death.

So, if you are over 50, make a New Years resolution to talk with your pharmacist or family doctor and get on the list to get your Shingrix vaccine. Louise and I got the vaccine on Monday. We had been on the list for about 6 months. The vaccine is new and it is taking a while for your pharmacy  and clinics to get it. The only catch is Shingrix is not cheap.

Jessica at the HyVee Pharmacy in Faribault said it seems like private health insurance or health insurance provided by the company you work for tends to pay better than Medicare. So, Jessica's advice, get on the list and when the Shingrix is available the pharmacy can run it on your insurance and determine what you will have to pay.

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