The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is providing the shingles vaccine free of charge for a limited time. West Virginia Residents age 60 and over who are uninsured, have private insurance with no vaccine coverage or have Medicare without Part D qualify.
Shingles is a painful skin rash that often includes blisters. Ohio County Health Department Director, Howard Gamble, says while shingles is essentially the same virus that causes chickenpox, it is not highly contagious.
He explains why you may be a good candidate for the vaccine if you had chicken pox as a child.
"Shingles is essentially the Varicella-Zoster vaccine, which is chickenpox," he says. "As kids, a lot of individuals would have had chicken pox. It lays dormant in the body and because of stresses, reactions to medication, or just the natural progression of disease, it comes back. It comes back as shingles."
A limited number of vaccines were provided to each county health department in the Mountain State by the West Virginia Department of Health. If you think you qualify for the vaccine call your county health department to set up an appointment.
Adult immunizations are available by appointment. Charges for immunizations vary and are subject to change. Clinic forms can be found on the department's website. For information or appointments in Ohio County, please call (304) 234-3682.