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Zostavax (Shingles) Clinic

What is shingles?

According to the Center for Disease Control, shingles is a painful localized skin rash or blister caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Often people who have had the chickenpox can develop shingles because the virus remains in the nerve cells and reappears several years later causing shingles.

Who gets shingles?

Shingles usually affects people above 50 and people who have suppressed immune systems due to drugs or chronic diseases like diabetes.

Who should get the shingles vaccine?

Currently, the shingles vaccine is being recommended to individuals over 50 years of age to reduce the risk of shingles and its associated neurologic pain.

How do I get the shingles vaccine?

The BIDMC Infectious Disease Clinic now administers this vaccine to improve the health of patients. Please call 617-632-7706 to set up an appointment.

Is the shingles vaccine covered by insurance?

Many insurance carriers now cover at least a portion of the Shingles Vaccine, including Masshealth and Medicare Part D. The coverage ranges depending on the insurance, but most start their coverage at either age 50 or age 60. Medicare Parts A & B do not cover the shingles vaccine. If you subscribe to a Medicare Part D Prescription plan, it covers a portion; please note that the cost of the vaccine varies depending on the insurance policy. Masshealth covers the vaccine for patients age 50 and above. Major insurance companies may cover the Shingles vaccine; insurances are subject to change at any time. We ask that you contact your insurance provider to verify coverage and/or reimbursement.

What happens during a consult?

During your visit, your past medical history including your medication and allergies are discussed and information about the zostavax vaccine and its side effects are reviewed. Any further questions the patient has are answered and the vaccine is then administered.

More Information

For more questions about Zostavax, click the following links:

Contact Information

Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lowry Medical Office Building, Suite GB
110 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02215
617-632-7706
617-632-7626