NUTLEY, NJ - Commissioner Steven Rogers and the Department of Public Affairs remind residents that the Nutley Health Department offers Shingles Vaccine for the uninsured and underinsured residents.  People age 60 and older can be vaccinated against shingles, a condition often marked by debilitating chronic pain.

CDC recommends a single dose of the zoster vaccine, Zostavax, for adults 60 years of age and older even if they have had a prior episode of shingles as it significantly decreases the risk of occurrence.

The most common side effects in people who received Zostavax were redness, pain and tenderness, swelling at the site of injection, itching and headache.

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Over 95 percent of people are infected by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), during their lifetime. The virus causes the common childhood disease chickenpox and then becomes dormant within the nerves. If it reactivates later in life, the result can be shingles.

Shingles is characterized by clusters of blisters, which develop on one side of the body in a band-like pattern and can cause severe pain that may last for weeks, months or years. About one in three persons will develop shingles during their lifetimes, resulting in about one million cases of shingles per year.

The risk of contracting shingles increases with age starting at around 50, and is highest in the elderly. Half of people living to age 85 have had or will get shingles. The risk of experiencing chronic pain also increases with age. 

Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles. That means 95 percent of adults are at risk; 1/3 the US population.

Approximately one-third of the U.S. population will get shingles.

To see if you are eligible for the free vaccine or if you wish to learn more contact the Nutley Health Department @ 973-284-4976