Shingrix vaccine available at some VA clinics now


My old Marine requested and received his first Shingrix (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) shot, the new vaccine for shingles, at the VA Burlington Clinic in Vermont.  It’s injected into a muscle so expect some soreness. Two shots are needed.

Shingrix is approved to prevent shingles in people 50 years and older (Link). Medicare does not cover the cost under Part A or B (Link). Coverage with Part D’s or a Medicare Advantage Plan’s will vary depending on insurer.   Private insurance costs vary widely.  Medicaid coverage varies by state.

The cost for the shots are high.  GoodRx (Link) has a search engine that allows users to check cash pharmacy prices by zip code and plan and offer coupons.  Blink Health is another search engine/discount program (LINK).

(No or Scrooge insurance?  There are a few options.  GlaxoSmtihKline Patient Assistance Program (Link) is worth investigating.

The CDC has a contract to buy Shingrix for health programs it supports–$102.19 per vial.

shingrix cdc

Click to go to CDC “Prices last reviewed/updated: May 1, 2018 Note: The CDC Vaccine Price Lists posted on this website provide current vaccine contract prices and list the private sector vaccine prices for general information. Contract prices are those for CDC vaccine contracts that are established for the purchase of vaccines by immunization programs that receive CDC immunization grant funds (i.e., state health departments, certain large city immunization projects, and certain current and former U.S. territories). Private providers and private citizens cannot directly purchase vaccines through CDC contracts. Private sector prices are those reported by vaccine manufacturers annually to CDC.”

 

Not all veterans are allowed to enroll in VA health care and many do not have access to VA clinics.  The Federal Community Health Centers can help veterans and everyone receive primary health care on an income-based sliding scale.  To search for a center by zip code go to: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

To check out current VA income and co-pay requirements, go to:

http://nationalincomelimits.vaftl.us/

https://www.va.gov/HEALTHBENEFITS/cost/copay_rates.asp

For general advice, Consumer Reports:

https://www.consumerreports.org/shingles-vaccine/new-shingles-vaccine-shingrix-what-you-should-know/

For a shingles overview, see Mayo article:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/symptoms-causes/syc-20353054

If you have any $ tips to share, please comment because people are reporting bills of $300 and up.  The VA is expecting shipping delays due to high demand.  I’m wondering if the VA is doing regional outreach to older veterans or do they have to request the vaccine?

Update:  Under Obamacare (ACA), this may have to be covered by insurance within a year of a CDC MMWR recommendation–which was published 1/26/18.  Some companies have already added it to their coverage. (LINK)

Kiedove

This entry was posted in All about Veterans, General Messages, Guest authors, Medical News, Uncategorized, VA Health Care, vA news. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Shingrix vaccine available at some VA clinics now

  1. John says:

    I have not heard from VA or TRICARE for Life (TFL) on this new shingles vaccine. I would imaging all VA and DOD facilities have it available. TFL might limit access since it oartners with Medicare.

    • Kiedove says:

      I’m going to call my Part D insurance company because I think they have to comply with ACA rules too. The VISNs really need to move on this.
      Public and private providers will probably need local media attention before we see much action.

  2. Thankful for my VA medical privilege; even in light of my (now) twelve year litigation with their (BVA) “opinion/s”. Actually received the former “Shingles” injection after my last Colonoscopy at the Ft. Miley VA Hospital in San Francisco in 2011. Nurse advised me they only had received “ten doses” of which I got one! She was surprised I’d asked, but I relayed I’d seen the research and this new one is even better or so I’ve read recently.

    • Kiedove says:

      Yes, you can get this new vastly improved vaccine even though you’ve had the old one. My brother’s shingles spread into his eye–what misery. Another man I know had chronic painful nerve damage for years after the outbreak. Check out the Mayo article!

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