Zoster Vaccine Availability

The Marion-Rochester Health District, in collaboration with the Marion Board of Health and the Rochester Board of Health is pleased to announce a continuation of the Zoster (commonly known as Shingles) Immunization Program.

Shingles is a condition that can present in individuals who had Chickenpox as a disease when they were younger. The Chickenpox virus remains dormant in the body after the childhood illness but can present as a “Shingles” rash later in life. This rash can be quite painful, and often is accompanied by blisters. The rash usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. The Zoster vaccine has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the risk of shingles occurring by 50%. It has also been shown to reduce the pain of shingles in those who get shingles even though they have been immunized.

Currently, there are a limited number of doses of Zoster vaccine available through the Marion-Rochester Regional Health District.

Insurance coverage for the Zoster vaccine is highly variable. Pre-approval from insurance companies is required prior to administering the vaccine. In some cases, co-pays may apply or residents may be asked to pay for the vaccine at time of service and seek reimbursement from their insurance company.

Interested residents may contact Betsy Dunn, RNC, PNP at the Rochester Board of Health (508-763-5421) or Kathy Downey, PhD, RN at the Marion Board of Health (508-748-3530).

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