Last week I visited my Doctor for my annual “physical” to make sure I am medically OK, and as usual the Medical Services and Drug Industry got a shot in the arm (as did I, got a tetanus booster right there and then to begin things).
I received a plethora of prescriptions including one for my orthotics (old beat up knees appreciate those) but I then asked for the Shingles Vaccine. I asked because Mrs. C8j reminded me, but also because a few folks who I work with (around my age) have had shingles, and their description of the condition convinced me I wanted anything that might stop this condition.
My Doctor pointed out that in Ontario, for folks my age (55) , the vaccine is not covered under Provincial Medical Plan, however, my insurance company (and my wife’s coverage added on top) did end up paying for it. I was glad that I wasn’t going to have to pay for the vaccine, so off I went to Loblaws (where I get my prescriptions) to get the vaccine, and then bring it back to my Doctor to get the injection.
After I had my shot, the nurse handed me the bill (that was in the bag from the pharmacy with the Shingles Vaccine) and I was surprised to see that the total cost for the vaccine was $213.52. I didn’t have to pay for it thanks to my insurance, however, after hearing from my co-workers description of having shingles, I would have paid for it myself, if my insurance had not.
I believe the rule in Ontario is, that after 60 the vaccine is free, but I wasn’t going to wait. Both the co-workers I know that have had shingles are much younger than 60, and typically shingles can be caused by stress, and I figure I am going to feel a lot more stress when I am 55 than when I am over 60 (I hope).
The last reason for getting the vaccine was, one co-worker, went to his Doctor and asked for the vaccine. His Doctor, pointed out that it was for older folks and that he really didn’t need the vaccine, so didn’t give my friend a prescription. What happened? Less than a month later, my friend got shingles, and he is younger than me! At that moment, I decided I was getting the vaccine.
If you want more info about Shingles, this is the CDC web page on it.