Ocean County Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little, Liaison to the Ocean County
Board of Health, announced that the Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) will be
offering the shingles vaccination to Ocean County residents that are over 60 years of age.
The cost for the vaccine will be $180.00 and may be fully or partially reimbursable by
some insurance plans including Medicare Part D.
Daniel E. Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator, said, “The vaccine for
shingles (Zostavax) is recommended for use in adults that are 60 years old and above to
prevent shingles. The older a person is, the more severe the effects of shingles typically
are, so all adults 60 years of age or older, should get the shingles vaccine. Only a person
who has had chickenpox can get shingles as the virus stays in your body which can cause
shingles many years later.” He added, “Anyone over the age of 60 should get the shingles
vaccine, regardless of whether they recall having had chickenpox or not. Studies show
that 99% of Americans aged 40 years and older have had chickenpox, even if they do not
Shingles is a painful skin rash that usually appears on one side of the face or body
and lasts from two to four weeks or longer. The main symptom of shingles is pain at the
site of the rash, which can be very severe. About one in five people have severe pain
long after the rash clears up. Some people experience other symptoms with shingles, such
as fever, headache, chills, and upset stomach. Very rarely, shingles can lead to
pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation, or death.
Leslie Terjesen, OCHD Public Information Officer, said there are very few risks
from the shingles vaccine. She added, “A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly
cause serious problems such as severe allergic reactions but there have been no serious
problems identified with the shingles vaccine. Some people may experience redness,
soreness, swelling or itching at the site of the injection and rarely, someone may get a
headache after receiving the vaccine. Like all vaccines, the shingles vaccine is being
closely monitored for any problems by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC recommends that the following people DO NOT get the shingles
• Someone who has had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin,
neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine
• A person who has a weakened immune system because of HIV/AIDS or another
disease that affects the immune system
• Treatment with drugs that affect the immune system, such as steroids
• Cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy
• A history of cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as
leukemia or lymphoma
• Women who are or might be pregnant
Appointments are necessary to get the shingles vaccine. Call 732-341-9700, ext.
7604 to make an appointment or with questions. You can also visit the Ocean County
Health Department website at www.ochd.org to find information on the shingles vaccine.