TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It’s a waiting game for many looking to get the latest shingles vaccine.
The new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, is said to be so effective and so sought after that it’s becoming incredibly difficult to find in stock.
Call it a second round of the chicken pox, just with a bit of a different look.
“Most all of us I think it’s around 95 to 99 percent of all Americans have been exposed to chicken pox as a child,” explains Pharmacist Sonny Krezdorn, Rose City Pharmacy.
For most people, Krezdorn says the shingle virus takes a really long nap in the nerves. But for others in their 50s or 60s, it waits until the opportune time to wake up, then produces a ring of fire.
“What happens then is the body’s Immune system doesn’t recognize it anymore so it can’t fight it so you get a shingle infection," Krezdorn says.
Big, painful rashes that can appear anywhere on the body, and hurt long after the breakout is gone.
“With quality of life in dealing with a shingles outbreak it can be very painful all the way up to once again some patients if it’s in the wrong nerve it can cost them an eye," Krezdorn says.
The new shingles vaccine Shingrix is approved for anyone above the age of 50. The old vaccine called Zostavaz was for 60 and above. However good luck trying to find it.
“We want to make the prescription products available for everybody that needs them and right now when we’re getting five to 10 calls a day asking about this vaccine, I understand the frustration on the patient’s part," Krezdorn says.
Since the shingles vaccine came on the market in march, high demand and unmatched supply forced a shortage for Rose City Pharmacy and Pharmacies across the nation.
“It’s an issue where we can’t keep it on the shelf," he says.
The shortage has left Cathy Deitrich worried for her 84-year-old father.
“His life can be in jeopardy. It absolutely could be in jeopardy and it could change our whole family’s world. We don’t (want to) lose my dad over something like this that can be prevented,” Deitrich explains.
Cathy’s dad has already had shingles once and is facing obstacles in getting him vaccinated. “I want his quality of life to be good as possible until the very end and this will be a piece of that.”
Although demand is overwhelmingly high, the CDC recommends patience for those waiting for answers.
“I am just praying that there’s no stressors, there’s nothing that you know that can trigger this and it’s just a waiting game and just praying that it comes. “ she said.
People wanting the vaccine can ask to be placed on a wait list at their local pharmacy.
Krezdorn says the manufacturer tells him the vaccine could be in by early 2019.