The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is providing the shingles vaccine (Shingrix) free of charge for a limited time to people (West Virginia resident) age 60 and older that are uninsured and under-insured.

West Virginia residents who are underinsured and have insurance (Medicaid or Medicare) that does not cover Shingles vaccine or have private insurance with no vaccine coverage are eligible for this vaccine.

The free vaccine offer is made possible by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource.

The vaccine is available, while supplies last, by appointment at the County Health Department’s adult vaccination clinic.  An administration fee may apply based on the department’s sliding fee schedule for state supplied vaccine.

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters, that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.  Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because the virus remains in the nerve cells of the body after chickenpox goes away and can reappear many years later causing shingles.

According to CDC, adults 50 years and older should get two doses of Shingrix, separated by 2 to 6 months. Adults 19 years and older who have or will have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix. If needed, people with weakened immune systems can get the second dose 1 to 2 months after the first.

You should get Shingrix even if in the past you:

  • Had shingles
  • Received Zostavax
  • Received varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
  • There is no maximum age for getting Shingrix.

If you had shingles in the past, Shingrix can help prevent future occurrences of the disease. There is no specific length of time that you need to wait after having shingles before you can receive Shingrix, but generally you should make sure the shingles rash has gone away before getting vaccinated.

Chickenpox and shingles are related because they are caused by the same virus (varicella-zoster virus). After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays dormant (inactive) in the body. It can reactivate years later and cause shingles.

  • You can get Shingrix whether or not you remember having had chickenpox in the past.
  • More than 99% of Americans born on or before 1980 have had chickenpox, even if they don’t remember having the disease.
  • Adults with weakened immune systems and no documented history of chickenpox disease, chickenpox vaccination, or shingles should talk to their healthcare provider, who can refer to the CDC Clinical Considerations for Use of Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV, Shingrix) in Immunocompromised Adults Aged ≥19 Years | CDC and Chickenpox (Varicella) Vaccination | CDC for further guidance.

For information or appointments please call (304) 234-3682.