62% of the Consumers Who Should Get a Shingles Vaccination Don’t Know It Exists

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “62% of the Consumers Who Should Get a Shingles Vaccination Don’t Know It Exists”

"Shingles vaccination is now nearly twice as effective as the previous protocol and available to patients 10 years younger than before, enabling largescale prevention of a painful, common condition. Adoption of the new standard of care could vastly reduce the one million annual cases of the disease, according to osteopathic physicians."

"Almost one in three Americans will be afflicted with shingles in their lifetime. Shingles is a painful potentially debilitating illness that is only preventable through vaccination, according to the CDC. In 2016, researchers found only 33% of eligible patients were vaccinated, pointing to the limited efficacy of the previous vaccine, a lack of awareness that the illness can be prevented and cost concerns."

"A new survey commissioned by the American Osteopathic Association finds less than two-​thirds of Americans (62%) are aware that there is a shingles vaccine. The online survey was conducted by The Harris Poll in June 2018 on behalf of the AOA."

"The new vaccine, marketed as Shingrix, is shown to be 97% effective in adults ages 50–69, and more than 90% effective in those 70 to well past 80. The earlier vaccine, Zostavax, prevented just over half (51%) of recipients from developing the painful disease and was recommended for patients 60 and older, due to waning immunity over time."

Seniors (ages 65 and older) make up approximately 18.9% of U.S. adults, according to AudienceSCAN. Nearly 39% of this group plans to buy vitamins or nutritional supplements this year. With such a big focus on health, Seniors will want to know the risks of developing the condition and the benefits of the new shingles vaccine.

"Shingles occurs when the herpes zoster virus (the same virus that causes chickenpox) reactivates years or decades later. Patients may not recall if they've had chicken pox in the past or received a previous vaccination, but Dr. Judith Lightfoot, DO, an infectious disease specialist at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, notes that if patients are unable to verify which vaccines they have received, there is little to no harm in receiving the new vaccine. In fact, it's recommended."

"Benefits of the new vaccine include:

  • Immunity at a younger age. Vaccination is now recommended for adults over 50 rather than 60, a result of extended effectiveness.
  • May be offered to some patients who have a compromised immune system, including cancer patients who are prone to developing the disease.
  • Even after an outbreak, the new vaccination can prevent a recurrence."

"Potential side effects include injection site redness and swelling, muscle pain, and immune system responses such as headache, shivering, fever and upset stomach."

"The pain associated with herpes-​zoster can be intense and debilitating. For about 10 to 13% of people, shingles leaves them with deep, searing nerve pain, a condition called post-​herpetic neuralgia, or PHN, that can last for months or years and has no treatment or cure. More than half the cases of PHN affect people over 60. Other possible complications of shingles include pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, encephalitis and very rarely death."

"Shingles gets its name from both Latin and French words for belt, or girdle, because of the girdle-​like skin eruptions that occur on the mid-​section of the body. For most people, symptoms emerge as a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body followed by blisters that typically scab over in seven to 10 days. The rash usually clears up within two to four weeks."

How can seniors be made better aware of the virus and its vaccine? Within the last year, 56.2% of seniors took action after receiving ads or coupons in their mailboxes, according to AudienceSCAN. TVs and newspapers are also the main source of local news for 55% and 24.6% of this group, respectively. Not only that, within the last year, 50.7% of seniors took action after seeing a TV commercial and another 41.7% took action because of an ad in the newspaper.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.