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Singles vaccine shortage meets tri-cities



Demand for the latest shingles vaccine is high, leading to bottlenecks in most parts of the United States. In the Tri-Cities, finding the vaccine is a hit or a failure, but mostly a failure.

The popular Shingrix vaccine was released in February following approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – and demand surged.

The Herald controlled several Tri-City pharmacies and all reported a limited supply or waiting list. And when the pharmacies buy Shingrix, it's gone quickly.

"I could not order it in the last few weeks," pharmacist Amanda Itai said at West Court Street Walgreens in Pasco.

Itai said regulatory problems were due to the manufacturer, who did not have enough supply for the public.


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At least 1 million people a year in the United States get shingles, a painful and often debilitating rash, often with blisters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline sells Shingrix in the US and worldwide. The sale of Shingrix is ​​estimated by the end of 2018 to nearly 800 million US dollars, according to the company.

"We keep trying to get it," said Itai. "They predict that it will be more readily available by the end of August."

GlaxoSmithKline will continue to supply part of the vaccine, but it is expected that the deficiency will continue until 2019.

"I think the company has been very effective in getting its message out," said Benton-Franklin Counties Health District Officer. Amy person.

Shingles or herpes zoster, is a painful rash that can lead to long-term nerve pain. It is more common in older adults. According to the CDC, an estimated 1 million people receive shingles every year in the United States.

One person said that the vaccine is in high demand because shingles is so painful and often debilitating


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FILE – In this January 12, 2018, file photo, a medical assistant in a community health center gives a patient shot in Seattle.

Ted S. Warren, file AP Photo

Shingrix is ​​administered in two doses with the second administered two to six months after the first.

After vaccination, Shingrix is ​​97 percent effective for the 50- to 69-year-olds, who received two doses, the person said. Shingrix is ​​preferred to Zostavax, the other leading vaccine that is about 50 percent effective, she said.

The CDC and most physicians encourage patients who have received the Zostavax vaccine to also get Shingrix.

Age is another factor in the new vaccine, and CDC recommends that adults over the age of 50 receive the Shingrix vaccine.

The person encouraged people who want to check the vaccine at pharmacies when they receive care.

"There has always been a market for it, and now that it's available everyone wants it," she said.


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