Shingles vaccine shortage results from high demand

Posted at 6:36 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 10:16:15-04

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — There is a huge shortage on the vaccine for shingles and those looking to get the shot may be waiting awhile. 

Spring Hill resident Linda Ross says her doctor recommended she get the shingles vaccine. So when she went to a local grocery store to get her flu shot, she asked for the shingles vaccine as well.

"They advised me that nobody in the whole area has the shingles shot," said Ross. 

Doctors say the risk of getting shingles, a very painful disease, increases with age and it’s said that one in three people will get it. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for people 50 and older.

"My mother had the shingles when she was older and it was very painful, and I’m just thinking, what if I get the shingles now and I tried to get the shot but it's unavailable?" said Ross.

We reached out to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of Shingrix, the shingles vaccine, and they gave us this statement in part, "Shingrix has been met with an unprecedented level of demand from patients and healthcare professionals."

GSK says they’re increasing and accelerating shipments of Shingrix, shipping out large volumes every two to three weeks.

The CDC says the shortage will likely continue through the end of 2018.

Patients are advised to call locations before going to make sure the vaccine is available.