• Last Updated:
  • Feb 23rd, 2018 2:16 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto

SHINGLES VACCINE

I had shingles 2 or 3 years ago. Didn't know I could have had a vaccine to prevent shingles. My doctor told me after that episode there is a waiting period of 2 years after which I can get a vaccine. I've read one can wait 1 year? Since my GP works at a clinic, patients are expected to get everything they need at the clinic. Which means clinic controls prices, for things not covered. That includes shingles vaccine. So I started asking around. Went to Guardian Pharmacy, the cost is $224.00, visited Shoppers Drug Mart, $420.00, Rexall was $214.00. I've been told and have read the vaccine is over $200.00. What surprised me is the price difference. How can one pharmacy charge double? Are all pharmacies providing same vaccine?
34 replies
Deal Guru
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Mar 14, 2005
11616 posts
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City of Vancouver
Thank you for creating this thread! I had no idea that different places had different prices for vaccines. Does anyone know Costco pharmacies offers vaccine service?
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto
Becks Now that you've mentioned Costco, never thought of them and I'm a member. Thanks, I'll look into that. You are right about this thread, It's important information and people should know about it. The same Shoppers pharmacy, when I went to get my flu vaccine in mid October, I was asked by a pharmacist to send complimentary comment about the service there. Same individual told me about cost of shingles vaccine! No way will I refer anyone to pay over $400.00 for a shingles vaccine at Shoppers, when people can get it for half price elsewhere.
Jr. Member
Aug 29, 2011
193 posts
146 upvotes
GTA
Just wondering if Shoppers is offering the latest shingles vaccine that just came out that is more effective then the older version and costs more. Also I assume you are under 65 otherwise it is free in Ontario between ages 65 and 70.
The Duke
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto
garytheduke I had no idea it's free. I'm 75, that's not bad. Regarding the vaccine, I wondered about the type of vaccine available. If it is the same in other pharmacies. Worth looking into it! Thank you for it bringing to my attention.
Member
Oct 23, 2017
361 posts
157 upvotes
GTA West
There is a new improved shingles vaccine that has just been approved called Shingrix. It is probably in limited supply at the moment but the effectiveness seems to be much, much better than the older vaccine called Zostavax, especially for older people.

Maybe SDM is offering the new one while Rexall has the old one? You definitely want Shingrix, not Zostavax. If you took Zostavax and want to have Shingrix , you have to wait for a certain period. One publication stated 5 years.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto
Dealmaker1945 I was at Costco about a week ago and asked about the cost of the vaccine. I think it is about $210.00. One needs a doctors' request. Something else I found about Costco, pharmacy there is not run by Costco. They lease it to a business outside. Thank you for providing information about the newest vaccine on the market. I will be asking about it.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
7464 posts
935 upvotes
Toronto
Just today I saw Zostavax II being advertised.
Not sure, it might be an updated version.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
15 upvotes
Toronto
I have new information regarding Shingles vaccine. Vaccine is free for people 65 to 70. The new Shingles vaccine is given in 2 stages. That's all I have for now. Don't forget to get Shingles vaccine if you are in this age group.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
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Toronto
I forgot to ask. Is Zostavax II improved version of the vaccine?
Deal Guru
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Aug 20, 2012
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Pacific Ocean
serbianbelle wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2017 1:38 pm
I had shingles 2 or 3 years ago. Didn't know I could have had a vaccine to prevent shingles. My doctor told me after that episode there is a waiting period of 2 years after which I can get a vaccine. I've read one can wait 1 year? Since my GP works at a clinic, patients are expected to get everything they need at the clinic. Which means clinic controls prices, for things not covered. That includes shingles vaccine. So I started asking around. Went to Guardian Pharmacy, the cost is $224.00, visited Shoppers Drug Mart, $420.00, Rexall was $214.00. I've been told and have read the vaccine is over $200.00. What surprised me is the price difference. How can one pharmacy charge double? Are all pharmacies providing same vaccine?
Strange... when I asked 3-4 yrs ago they said anyone 50 and above can get zostavax for free. It would be covered under OHIP. Reason being shingles is most prevalent for individuals 50 and up as you have a 1 in 2 chance of getting it. It's stated in government health literature. And becuz it's stated by health canada it is covered by OHIP. Yes, there are differences in price (for those who do not qualify for coverage ie. someone not middle age but wants it will have to pay). However not all pharmacies and/or doctors offer it becuz it is a live vaccine meaning it has to be injected within 30 minutes from the freezer. It's a special little freezer that keeps the vaccine at a constant -15C. So there's 2 ways you can get it. 1. Doc writes a script to a pharmacy within 30 minutes from the GP's office that has the proper freezer storage. You bring the bottle back to the doc and he injects it. OR 2. Go to a doc that specializes in tropical disease immunity shots for travelers. Just do a google search. There are tons of them. These MD's carry a ton of immunity shots for various diseases and have the proper storage facility. Bring your OHIP card and it's covered. If you dont qualify ie. age then you pay the doc out of pocket. These docs tend to give the cheaper prices. They buy them in bulk. Yes, there is a wide variance in prices charged. IMO, the mom and pop pharmacies and travel disease docs are the cheapest.

Keep in mind they dont provide 100% immunity. Zostavax offers like 60% immunity so there's a 40% chance you will get it anyway. HOWEVER, if you already had shingles once, the probability you will get it again is very low.

- 68% of shingles cases occur at 50 and above
- 1 in 3 get shingles in their lifetime
Chance to get shingles 50 and above is 0.68 x 0.33 = 0.2244 or 22.4% the first time.

However, if you take the vaccine the probability falls from 22.4% to .224 x .4 (40% the vaccine doesnt work) = .0896 or 8.9%

If you had shingles already at age 50 or above with no vaccine - 22.4% chance. Then your probability of getting it again drops by 1/3rd anyway (statistics of occurrence) or .224 x 0.33 = 0.074 or 7.4%. If you then take the vaccine, the chance of getting it the 2nd time falls to 0.074 x .4 (40% the vaccine doesnt work) = 0.0296 or just under 3%. So taking the vaccine improves your chances of not getting it the 2nd time by only 4.4%. For some peeps, that 4.4% aint worth $200+ dollars.

Zostavax
https://www.zostavax.ca
Zostavax II
https://www.zostavax.ca/vaccine_prevent ... ngles.html

Apparently zostavax II is for peeps who have been vaccinated and get it again. Then you take zoster II which reduces pain, intensity and duration.

Shingrix.
https://www.shingrix.ca/en-ca/index.html

Newest vaccine in the Canadian market. Difference with zostavax is it claims 90% prevention instead of 60% for zoster. However, zoster stays in your system for life whereas Shingrix is only good for 4yrs.
If the glove don't fit you must acquit! #WINNING
Deal Fanatic
Sep 16, 2004
7464 posts
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Toronto
I got chicken pox when I was 25 which is pretty late compared to ideally as a kid.
I popped the initial one before I knew it was chicken pox and broke out really bad.
I imagine I am very likely to be a candidate for shingles later in life and so will get the vaccine by 50 even if I have to pay for it.
I know 50years is an important statistic when the vaccines are advertised on TV, but had no idea acording to aznorths info it might be covered by OHIP.
My Aunt had it for many years and the flare ups and pain continued throughout her life until she died.
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 12, 2009
187 posts
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Toronto
aznnorth You've given very detailed information. Thank you! When I got shingles 2 years ago, it was very mild. I had a few bumps on my face, and within 5 days it was gone. One thing I remember well, when I came to Canada I used to get a lot of cold sores. It was mostly on my lips, sometimes it would appear on skin surrounding lips. I'm inclined to think it was caused by stress coming to a new country. Even before I came here, I would get them very frequently . Eventually, it stopped. Haven't had a cold sore in years.
Deal Guru
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Aug 20, 2012
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Pacific Ocean
serbianbelle wrote:
Jan 31st, 2018 11:40 am
aznnorth You've given very detailed information. Thank you! When I got shingles 2 years ago, it was very mild. I had a few bumps on my face, and within 5 days it was gone. One thing I remember well, when I came to Canada I used to get a lot of cold sores. It was mostly on my lips, sometimes it would appear on skin surrounding lips. I'm inclined to think it was caused by stress coming to a new country. Even before I came here, I would get them very frequently . Eventually, it stopped. Haven't had a cold sore in years.
Cold sores/canker sores can be caused by stress. So in your case coming to a new country would cause a lot of stress. Often cold/canker sores are caused by certain foods or allergic reactions to foods such as hot and spicey foods, greasy diet, fried foods, etc. Cold/canker sores are essentially the same thing. Cold sores are external to the skin often around lips and mouth area whereas canker sores are internal usually in the mouth cavity, inside cheeks, inside lips, tongue, etc.
Last edited by aznnorth on Jan 31st, 2018 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If the glove don't fit you must acquit! #WINNING
Deal Guru
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Aug 20, 2012
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Pacific Ocean
gh05t wrote:
Jan 30th, 2018 12:52 pm
I got chicken pox when I was 25 which is pretty late compared to ideally as a kid.
I popped the initial one before I knew it was chicken pox and broke out really bad.
I imagine I am very likely to be a candidate for shingles later in life and so will get the vaccine by 50 even if I have to pay for it.
I know 50years is an important statistic when the vaccines are advertised on TV, but had no idea acording to aznorths info it might be covered by OHIP.
My Aunt had it for many years and the flare ups and pain continued throughout her life until she died.
The virus that causes chicken pox is the same virus that causes shingles - varicella zoster virus. Hence, where the name zostervax vaccine comes from (ding, ding, ding!). When you are a child your immunity is at it's weakest and therefore this virus is most likely to break out. However, as you age your immunity breaks down around middle age aka 50. This is why older peeps are more susceptible to diseases, virus, and other medical conditions. Thus, this virus creeps its ugly head as shingles (basically the adult form of chicken pox). The virus never dies but essentially goes into remission after chicken pox as a kid. It hides in your body. The virus tends to affect nerves which is why you often feel the effects of shingles as initially sharp piercing pain at nerve endings. Often sharp throbbing headaches around the parietal lobe nerve endings and sometimes in the frontal lob nerve endings of the head. Over the years as medical tech improved, more and more kids received vaccine shots to prevent chicken pox as children resulting in less and less kids getting chicken pox as kids. This creates a 2 pronged effect. When you dont get chicken pox as a child the probability of getting shingles as an adult is greater. Likewise, if you do get chicken pox as a kid the likelihood to get shingles as an adult is less. This is why shingles cases has increased rapidly over recent years. When kids who never had chicken pox as a child get shingles, the cases are much greater in number as adults. This explains why stats are now 1 in 2 or 50% get shingles as an adult 50 or above. Hard to believe but tons of peeps died from shingles (herpes zoster) over the centuries which can now be prevented or probability lowered from vaccines.
If the glove don't fit you must acquit! #WINNING

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