October 14, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

Shingles Vaccination Clinic Today

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department in partnership with the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Services Fund is expanding its shingles vaccination program to ensure cost is not a deterrent to senior adults who should receive a vaccination against this painful skin condition.

“Shingles affects at least one million Americans every year,” says program coordinator Nancy Mix Yeomans. “As many as 90 percent of the population are at risk for developing shingles in their lifetime, and the risk increases as life expectancies lengthen.”

On October 14th, from noon to 3:00 pm, the health department will provide shingles vaccinations at no cost to eligible Greene County residents, age 60 and older, at the Northview Senior Center, located at 301 E. Talmage in Springfield. Senior adults should call 417-864-8606 to find out if they are eligible.  Shingles vaccinations are also provided by appointment at the health department’s Westside Public Health Center, located at 660 South Scenic in Springfield.  Call 417-874-1220 for details.

Shingles is a painful skin rash, often with blisters, that is caused when a dormant varicella virus (the same one that causes chickenpox) suddenly becomes active again, usually in senior adults. The virus is not passed from person-to-person and only flares up in people who have previously had chickenpox.

In addition to skin lesions, shingles often causes extremely painful attacks, which are more severe for older Americans. By age seventy, 75 percent of shingles patients also suffer from painful, debilitating nerve damage called Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN). Other possible side effects include hearing loss and blindness.

“At age 60, adults have a one in three chance of having shingles. By age 85, the chance of having shingles is one in two. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen by allowing seniors the opportunity to protect themselves with a vaccination.” adds Yeomans.

For more information about shingles, visit www.springfieldmo.gov/health.

Media Opportunity: Ms. Yeomans will be giving an educational presentation to senior adults at the Northview Senior Center, located at 301 E. Talmage at 11:30 am on October 14th. The vaccine will be given to qualifying senior adults from noon to 3:00 pm.

Media Contact: Jaci McReynolds, Public Information Administrator, (417) 874-1205 office, (417) 830-9511 cellToday, from noon to 3:00 pm, a free shingles vaccination clinic is available for eligible Greene County residents, age 60 and older.

springfield greene county health department
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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov