Vaccinations

Zostavax: Shingles vaccine

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters. It is also called herpes zoster. Shingles is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chicken pox. Only someone who has had chicken pox, or received the chicken pox vaccine, can get shingles. The virus stays in your body and can reappear several years later to cause a case of shingles. This is a rash that usually appears on one side of the face or body and occurs over a nerve path. The lingering symptom is pain, which can be quite severe. For about 1 person in 5, severe pain can continue for months after the rash has cleared up.Other symptoms can include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach.

Shingles is far more common in people 50 and older than in younger people. It is also more common in people whose immune systems are weakened because of disease such as cancer, or drugs such as steroids and chemotherapy.

A vaccine for shingles was licensed in 2006. It can prevent shingles from occurring and also reduce the intesity and the pain associated with shingles. This is a single dose vaccine recommended for adults 60 years of age and older.

Please ask our providers for more information about the shingles vaccination. Many insurance companies will cover this vaccine. Please check with your insurance company to see if coverage is available in your plan.

Gardisil: HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine

HPV is a common virus that affects both female and males. More than 1 million cases of genital HPV are diagnosed in the United States each year. Most types of HPV are harmless, do not cause any symptoms, and go away on their own.

About 30 types of HPV are known as genital HPV since they affect the genital area. Some types of HPV are high risk and can cause cervical cancer or abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix that can turn into cancer. They can also cause genital warts.

Anyone who has any kind of sexual activity could get genital HPV. Because many people who have HPV may not show any signs and symptoms, they can transmit the virus without even knowing it.

Gardasil is a vaccine that helps protect against many diseases caused by the HPV virus. Some of these diseases include cervical cancer, abnormal and precancerous cervical lesions, vaginal lesions, and vulvar lesions, cancer of the penis and genital warts. Gardasil helps prevent these diseases. Gardasil is recommended for girls and women ages 9 through 26 years of age. Gardasil is given in 3 separate injections over a 6 month period.

Please ask our providers about this HPV vaccine. Many insurance companies will cover this vaccine. Please check with your insurance plan to see if coverage is available.

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