Shingles shot shortage

If you've ever had the Shingles, you know just how painful it is. But now there's a preventative vaccine. It's called Zostavax. However, the vaccine is in short supply. Some local pharmacies do have the vaccine. One of them is Terry's Pharmacy in La Follette.
It doesn't come in a pill. It comes in shot. Patient Gwen Patterson says, "I have a prescription from my doctor for a shingles vaccine." Getting the one-time shingles vaccine is simple. Rissa Pryse Tamer is president of Terry's Pharmacy and says, "You just need to call your family care physician to get a prescription for it." Though finding a pharmacy or physician that stocks the vaccine is not." Raewyn Snodderly is the pharmacist in charge at Terry's Pharmacy and says, "We've been on a waiting list for almost nine-months to get the vaccine." Dr. Snodderly thinks one reason for the limited supply is due to a shortage in production. Raewyn adds, "Any patient that's over 60 should actually be coming in to get the vaccine." Gwen has two really good reasons why she's getting the shot today since she's already suffered from Shingles twice. Her insurance won't cover the $250 vaccine, but she says that's less than the cost of medicine if you get Shingles. Dr. Tamer notes that, there's no cure, but if you can prevent it from happening, that's the key to it." Gwen closes by saying that, "there was no pain for the shot. The shingles are very painful."
Dr. Snodderly says the Shingles vaccine is insurance driven and that a lot of Part "D" plans pay for it. We checked with a dozen pharmacies and discovered that only half of them offer the vaccine. They are Village Pharmacy in Maryville (983-9590), Edgemoor Pharmacy in Powell (945-3333), East Tennessee Discount Drugs in Strawberry Plains (933-4149), Mac's Pharmacy on Washington Pike (524-3453), Apple Discount Drugs in Clinton (457-0300), Terry's Pharmacy in La Follette (423-562-4928), and a few of the Kroger and Walgreen Pharmacies in Knoxville and Oak Ridge have the Zostavax vaccine.

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  • by Millie on Jul 16, 2009 at 03:23 PM
    After doing some research, I now know that TriCare or TriCare for Life (Military Insurance) will not pay for the Shingles shot if you have your dr. give you a prescription for the shingles vaccine, then have the prescription filled at a pharmacy, then take the medication to your dr. to have the shot given. The ONLY way Tricare will pay, is if the shot medication is from the dr's office and given in his office. A small technicality that has caused so much stress for elderly retired military folks.


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