The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning about a shortage of the newest shingles vaccine. for people 50 and older beginning last fall and is more effective than the old vaccine at preventing the painful shingles virus. The demand has been greater than expected and many patients are having trouble getting the shot.
"It's a really potent, excellent vaccine. I got it myself. And this is a vaccine where the old vaccine worked 30, 40 percent of the time. This is 97 percent of the time. And remember, over a third of the population will get shingles, so this is something for everybody over the age of 50," Dr. David Agus told "CBS This Morning" on Friday.
Shingles, which is triggered by dormant chicken pox virus, causes a painful blistering rash along with possible complications including searing nerve pain and pneumonia. According to Agus, shingles can sometimes be debilitating and have implications for the rest of your life.
"Call ahead to a pharmacy. Make sure they have it. You can get it at a pharmacy, your doctor's office," Agus said. "But it really is critical to get it. Find a way, find out when the next batch is coming in. Get on that list and get the shot."
Agus said the old vaccine just isn't enough.
"Even people who have the old vaccine need to get the new vaccine. Every week they're releasing more of it so get on a list. Figure out where it is. It's not a critical shortage, but it's a shortage. So find that new vaccine. Whether it be a doctor, a pharmacy or somewhere."