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Nationwide shingles vaccine shortage being felt in Alabama

Shingles vaccination (Source: WBRC)
Shingles vaccination (Source: WBRC)(WBRC Fox6 News)
Updated: Oct. 9, 2018 at 7:39 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Brenda Kunze believes in staying as healthy as she can.

She not only exercises regularly, but also tries to prevent illnesses, like Shingles.

“I have had just a small taste of it before and I’ve seen people with it and it’s terrible. It can be very painful, especially for old people,” Kunze says.

She’s tried twice this year to get the Shingles vaccine but couldn’t. There is currently a nationwide shortage in the US.

“It has been in this situation for several months, probably three to six months already,” says Cindy Lesinger with the Alabama Department of Health.

Lesinger says there used to be a Shingles shot that could only be given to health adults over the age of sixty. But in January, the Centers for Disease Control encouraged people to get a new vaccine called Shingrix.

“It doesn’t have to be frozen and is for ages down to fifty and can be given to anyone with any medical condition generally,” Lesinger explains.

She says demand skyrocketed and in July, the CDC said the manufacturer had to limit orders, which caused shipping delays that could last through the end of the year.

But once it becomes available, Lesinger and Brenda Kunze encourage everyone who’s eligible to get it, to do so.

“Be patient, be persistent because it’s a vaccine worth getting which is the reason there’s a strong market demand for it,” Lesinger says.

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