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Shingles and the Prostate Cancer

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2958
Joined: Nov 2010

 

For whatever reason it may be two days ago I have been attacked with an outbreak of shingles .It started with flu like symptoms of fever accompanied of the typical pain and discomfort all over the body. I took paracetamol that night for no effect and realized that in fact I did not have a blocked nose or sore throat. I could not sleep well and in the morning my wife saw a large pinkish patch in my back. My GP told me of the details and for curiosity (this is my first experience with the disease) I started “digging and digging” on the matter. My conclusions is that prevention against shingles should be a concern of us all survivors of PCa.

It seems that one in each three persons (over 65 years old) will get the disease. They recommend (compulsive) vaccination at 60. The worse of the outbreak is pain that can last during one month or more and such seem not easy to treat with over the counter medication. I recall reading in this forum about someone that had to postpone radiation treatment due to shingles. I also recall someone indicating that shingles can be considered a late side effect from radiation or chemotherapy in cancer treatments. Shingles seems to be common in PCa patients with bone metastases. Anti-viral medications also interact with some hormonal and chemo drugs causing delays that can be crucial. Dr. Myers answers to this patient as follows;

Do you recommend the Shingles Vaccine for your patients who are actively on intermittent hormonal therapy and those who are in prostate cancer remission? My internist recommended that I be vaccinated since I turned 60 this summer and am considered by him to be “high risk”.

“….Yes, I strongly recommend the shingles vaccine to my patients. I also made sure I got this vaccine myself. You should also get the Pneumovax vaccine against pneumonia and remember to get the flu vaccine yearly.
If you are in the off phase of hormonal therapy, you should do what you can to slow the re-growth of the prostate cancer. I would strongly recommend you at least adopt a Mediterranean heart healthy diet free of red meat, cold cuts, and bacon. I also recommend you take enough vitamin D to make sure you are not deficient: this is best done with a blood test measuring the 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. At AIDP we have a much more comprehensive program that requires close monitoring of our patients, but then we try to keep our patients off hormonal therapy for as long as possible.”

www.prostateforum.com/Sample-Issue.pdf

All about Shingles;
http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/commoninfections/a/shingles.htm

Here is a PCa case that become nasty with the unfolding of an outbreak of shingles;
http://csn.cancer.org/node/219847

 

May I suggest to my comrades to consider the shingles vaccination, before it strikes in the most inappropriate timing!

Innocent

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2218
Joined: Apr 2009

I am sorry for the discomfort that you are experiencing.

 

Also consider a flu vacine which is recommended by the cde for all who are over 6 months old, addditionally a "Fluzone High Dose" is recommended for those 65 years and older if no previous severe reaction to the vaccine.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2014-2015.htm

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/guidelines.htm

 

 

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

Vasco,

I am truly sorry to learn about your bout with shingles.

I never thought about or considered that shingles and treatments for PC could be related. 

About eight years ago, my primary care doctor said that I need not fear getting shingles unless I had chicken pox. In fact, he advised against getting shingles shots if I had not had chicken pox. Consequently, I have not had the shots--and I have not had shingles. Knock on wood!

Old-timer

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Joined: May 2012

Shingles is very common following lymphoma treatments, for reasons not fully understood. My oncologist recommends the vaccine to all of his lymphoma patients, and so I guess it is advisable for any cancer patient or former patient.  Thanks for reminding us, Vasco.

max

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

Sorry about your bout w/shingles, Vaco.  Thanks for the info.

I've always been suspicious of mass media campaigns that push the treatment of certain diseases and, since I'd never heard of shingles before and no one I've known has ever had it, I lumped it into the suspect category and have never gotten vaccinated for it.

However, this is what WedMD says are the risk factors:

Things that increase risk for shingles include:

  • Having had chickenpox. You must have had chickenpox to get shingles.
  • Being older than 50.
  • Having a weakened immune system due to another disease, such as diabetes or HIV infection.
  • Experiencing stress or trauma.
  • Having cancer or receiving treatment for cancer.
  • Taking medicines that affect your immune system, such as steroids or medicines that are taken after having an organ transplant.

See: http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/shingles/shingles-what-increases-your-risk.

I've had chickenpox TWICE, am over 50 and have been treated for cancer.  So, I guess I should reconsider and go ahead and get vaccinated for it. 

CC52
Posts: 101
Joined: Nov 2013

Vasco - sorry that you have to endure this. No fun!

Some of you may recall my recent September posts regarding a shingles outbreak I experienced during my CK treatments. My RO reassured me that the treatments were not the cause of the shingles - one of the primary causes is stress. Who knows what triggers it, but I believe strongly that the vaccine should be encouraged by treating physicians. Better safe than sorry.

CC

tarhoosier
Posts: 195
Joined: Aug 2006

I had Shingles when I was 22 and was one of the most excruciating experiences of my life. I NEVER want to go through that again, particularly at my much further advanced age. Any weakening of the immune system may allow the dormant Herpes to restart. Zostavax is a vaccine that limits the chance of shingles for those who had chicken pox (herpes) in their past, most likely in childhood. Zostavax does not give complete immunity but any protection is worth it.

My case at age 22 first looked like poison ivy or some other plant oil reaction. I ignored it until the tiny nerve endings were swollen and then burst open and the pain of a thousand exposed nerve endings is about what you would imagine it would be. Shingles almost always presents on one side of the body only. In my case it was the torso on the right side. It can also be on one side of the face, a more serious situation because of eye involvement. Seek attention immediately if there is an apparent rash or redness or streaks on one side only (or even both side, really). Early intervention can reduce the outbreak.

Rakendra's picture
Rakendra
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Joined: Apr 2013

Wow, not fun.  I had them about 20 years ago in Thailand.  I remember there wasnot a lot the docs could do, so I went to the local Shaman who ground up a bunch of leaves and powders and rubbed it on my back.  The he took a branch with leaves and rubbed my back following with a good dose of spit.  It seemed to help.  Sorry, I cannot tell you how to contact him. The good news is that I think you can only get it one time. Good luck. love, rakendra

Old Salt
Posts: 720
Joined: Aug 2014

The CDC recommends vaccination even for people who have had shingles. Hence, one can get shingles a second time.

 

PS: as an aside, what perhaps hasn't been pointed out (much) in this thread is that a shingles attack can lead to nasty neuropathies that won't go away.

PS#2: Had a shingles attack about ten years ago, long before my prostate cancer was discovered. By the time the proper diagnosis was made, treatment would have been futile; just had to face up to it. Fortunately, no long-term problems.

tarhoosier
Posts: 195
Joined: Aug 2006

It is unclear if a person who has a second outbreak of shingles is actually experiencing a second event or a recurrence of the first. Since this Herpes Zoster lies dormant for years in the body it may be impossible to tell which event is occurring.

Another problem is that for those exposed to H. Zoster (chicken pox) they may not have expressed the symptoms and thus are unaware of their compromised immunity. This is often in childhood and memories are missing.

If you are in the group unvaccinated as children for chicken pox and you are over 60 now a Zostavax shot may be in your best interest, regardless of your shingles history. Check with your doctor.

I had chicken pox as a child and shingles at age 22. My doctors both recommended the vaccination.

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

So, I looked into getting a shingles vaccination via my health care provider at UCSF, which is covered by the Hill Physicans Group under CA Blue Shield.

Strangely, UCSF doesn't seem to have any means of providing shots/vaccinations for its health care patients and I've always been directed to get shots elsewhere.  This was no exception.  My doc said he'd send a prescription order for the shot to my local Walgreens.  I called to confirm that they received the order and was told that it was NOT covered by Blue Shield and that it would cost me $225 (plus tax - about 9%) out of pocket.

However, Hill Physicans told me that it is reimburseable up to $250 under my Blue Shield Plan.  In fact, they have a reimbursement form online that I printed out which says the same.  Found it very interesting that the amount of reimbursement is almost exactly what Walgreens will charge me (including tax) for the shot.   I wonder if the cost would be $100 if that's what Blue Shield would pay for the shot instead.  Hmmm . . .

Anyway, since it's fully reimburseable, I guess there's no good reason NOT to get the shot.  So, I'll be getting it shortly -- probably after TG in case there are any unexpected side effects.

 

 

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2218
Joined: Apr 2009

I had mine about 15 years ago, when I was in my late 50ties. At that time, the shingles vaccination  was becoming available to the public. My lady-friend was and is an advanced practice nurse in a hospital setting. She read about the "new" vaccine. 

We were each patients of the same Kaiser Doc, although he was not aware that we knew each other.  I  brought supporting information, and asked him to write a script for the new vaccine. He mentioned to me that only one other  patient asked about getting the vaccine. At that time Kaiser did not have the vaccine, but it was available six months later. (By the way my Lady-Friend was in her early 50ties when we received the shots).

HolyMole
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2013

My mother went through a terrible month of pain with shingles when she was in her 50's- couldn't even stand the bedsheets coming into contact with her skin, had to "tent" the bedsheets.

One Sunday morning, while shaving, I noticed red welts/rash on my left arm - so odd-looking that I immediately went to Emergency at our local hospital. Within an hour they had diagnosed shingles and started me on famciclovir tablets. Because I started treatment so quickly, my case turned out to be mild, lasted about a month, with only mild pain on the back of my neck. According to the hospital, the famciclovir is most effective if started within 24 hours of the outbreak. In my case, it was significantly less than 24 hours.

I've been told I could get a second attack, but typically it would be less severe than the first, so getting the shingles shot is probably not necessary. My shingles was at least 3 or 4 years before my PC diagnosis, so likely no connection at all.

A final word on any vaccinations/injections: I had my annual flu shot in mid-October, which was administered 'way too high on my arm - almost, it seemed, into the shoulder bone itself, and I suffered pain for the better part of a month. The condition, (news to me) even has a name: SIRVA or Shoulder Injury Related To Vaccine Administration.

Check out  http://www.jabfm.org/content/25/6/919.full

and pay attention to where they plan to jab you for those shots.

 

 

 

 

Old Salt
Posts: 720
Joined: Aug 2014

Malpractice?

I hope you raised hell with the person who administered the shot.

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Joined: May 2012

How stupid can someone who is supposidely trained to give injections be ?

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Joined: May 2012

SSW, I live in a different state and our BC plan covers the vaccine in or out of a doctor's office at 100%.  

Ouch ! Our sales taxes here are 5%.  Nearby Tennessee and Florida have no (zero) income tax. Tennessee does have an average sales tax of 7%, but localities do stick on substantial municipal taxes in many areas. I am not sure how medicines are taxed in those states, if at all.

max

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

Hey Max: I'm a native Californian but I've been thinking about moving out of state for awhile. 

The high cost of living (including taxes) is just one reason BUT I have enough $ to live here.  So, there aren't enough reasons to make me move YET but, if I do, I'd probably move to the Southwest (AZ, NM or TX) which are the most appealing states to me.  I've also thought about moving out of the country -- most likely Mexico -- but it would take even more motivation for me to do that.

Actually, the quality and low cost of medical care under under BS at UCSF is my main reason for staying put where I am.  If I move out of state, I'd still have BS but not UCSF and, if I move to another country, I'd pretty much be own my own as far as medical care is concerned UNLESS I can come back to the US for medical treatment under BS.

 

 

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Joined: May 2012

SSW,
I have read that the Southwest has a lot of former Californians in it, both individuals and corporations. I have not been west of Kansas, but love that region generally. A friend in Colorado Springs tells me Colorado is now "California East."

I am from the Southeast, and we are now under a heavy, long term influx of people escaping the taxes and cold in the Northeast, the so-called "snow birds." Most go initially to Florida, but when they discover that it is too hot there, they become "Half Backs": folks who move half way back, to SC, NC, or Virginia.

All of the former "Rust Belt" industries moved here decades ago, and more continue.
max

tpelle
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2003

I had shingles about fifteen years ago. 

So, after reading this thread, I've decided to get the shingles shot tomorrow at my doctor's office.  Medicare doesn't pay any part of it, I'm told, but my Medicare Supplement (United Health), Part B pays for $20 of the administration fee and Part D pays the serum fee after an $85 deductible.  Without insurance my doctor said to be prepared to write a $250 check.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2958
Joined: Nov 2010

I wonder what would have been better; attacked by PCa or by Shingles.

This is no joke; it has been a week in hell. Four days in bed with fever (not very high), loads of discomfort because you can lie only on your left side and pain that comes from nowhere but it is everywhere. In the last three days the condition has improved a lot but still got the “remarkable” scars along 180o of my torso, now more acceptable to the touch.

My brother, sister and wife and her siblings got just in “panic” for the facts. It surprised us all. And now they want to be vaccinated. Here in Portugal the vaccine is not covered by the National Health Service. In England they cover only the ones at 70; If you are younger or older (say 72) then you must pay out of your pocket. It seems that they do the job for 250 euros plus 25% of VAT, a shot. (USA a country will no taxes. That is wonderful)

The treatment was basically an antiviral pill (acyclovir) every four hours plus toping antiviral cream (10mg would cover just two times of application), five times a day. The Pain killer was nice (Metamizol) but it would be effective for a short period of approximately three hours. I was recommended one pill a day (at bed time) but took it twice a day. The effect was so fabulous that I decided to investigate on its contents.
I found that it is an old drug (1922) banned in USA and England but available under prescription in all other European countries. It has been used in post surgical procedures. I would keep a note on its name just in case I need something similar in future (there have been so many survivors reporting suffering with pain and without any good medicine to relief it).

I am now fit and think it will be OK by the time I will travel to Japan (November 29th), for my international Shogi match (Japanese chess). I hope to avoid the pain killer when closer to the games (or maybe I can use it as an excuse for bad performance). We will be 46 countries competing for the podium.

This thread had many reporting about their experiences and I think that the readers will benefit a lot from the comments. The symptoms seem to be different in some guys and some do better than others but “Is it worth to get vaccinated?”  Yes it is.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

VG

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

Even though I am reasonably certain that I have not had chicken pox, I will take another look into whether I should get the shingles vaccination. Eight years ago, my primary care doc advised against it (I think). I may have misunderstood him or forgot what he said. I have a different PC doc now (a woman).

I am overwhelmed by all the thought-provoking information provided by you folks.

Vasco, continued good luck. And may you win the chess matches.

Old-timer (Jerry)

Max Former Hodgkins Stage 3's picture
Max Former Hodg...
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Old-timer,

I have heard of some docs recommending against the shingles vaccine years ago also, mostly for leukemia and lymphoma patients. The doctors at my cancer clinic are affiliated with US Oncology (1,000 oncologists nationwide), and I believe (not totally certain) that their protocol is to recommend the vaccine for most oncology patients now.

MAYO Clinic statement on the vaccine:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shingles/expert-answers/shingles-vaccine/faq-20057859

max

.

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, here's a public health announcment filmed by Terry Bradshaw (the 4x SuperBowl winning HOF QB w/the Steelers) on getting a shingles vaccination:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSI2AZQmEsU

Planning on getting mine today.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2958
Joined: Nov 2010

Swing SW

You are right. This is painful and very incomoditive. The scars are gone but the neuropathy is there and does not allow me to rest or concentrate. The flight to Tokyo was terrible and I may postpone my return to Lisbon till I get better. I know how does a Japanese Christmas look like. Hell to shingles.

The video (s) you provided are the real thing. I am hopeful for a quick "end of the story".

VG 

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

Well, got my shingles shot today -- less than an hour ago.

The shot is subcutaneous (like a TB test shot) and it still feels a bit uncomfortable.  It cost $225 including tax, which is fully reimburseable by my health carrier. Don't know why they just don't pay for it, rather than require me to request reimbursement.  PITA but it doesn't matter as long as I get the money back.

The flyer they gave me at the pharmacy, where I got the shot, says that the shot only reduces the probablity of getting shingles by 50% and reduces the felt pain if you get shingles anyway.  Guess that's better than nothing.

Anyway, got my flu shot and my shingles shot.  So, all done w/shots for this year.

 

rooster6
Posts: 9
Joined: Oct 2014

My Dad had shingles when he lived with us .  He would scratch till they bled.  Hubby and I both got the vaccine even tho we had to shell out 360$ for 2 .  Tried talking BIL to get the shot his insurance would help some.  Even emotional trama can bring the shingles on.  A neighbor lady suffering from pancrestic cancer got the shingles and they still gave her the shot to lessen the pain.

blackthorne
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2015

Vasco, can you get shingles more than once?

Old Salt
Posts: 720
Joined: Aug 2014

but the answer to your question is yes; one can get shingles a second time.

It's probably not that common. Nevertheless, vaccination is recommended by authorities.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2958
Joined: Nov 2010

Old Salt

Thanks for the reply. I wasn't sure if I became shingles proof. I wonder if vaccination is still valid for someone that had it.

The situation is now better with just some scars but I still got neuropathy. In the evening in particular, I became very sensitive to the cold. The symptoms are like a tied belt around my upper abdomen just at armpits level.

Best

VG

hopeful and opt...
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Joined: Apr 2009
Builder23
Posts: 29
Joined: Jun 2013

So sorry to hear about the shingles I have friends that have them and know first hand how debilitating it can be.

Just wanted to let you know my thoughts and prayers for a full recovery be with you soon.

 

Builder23

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

Conferred with my primary care doctor today. She said shingles shots are not recommended for persons over 80 (I am 88). She told me that Medicare announced three days ago that they are now covering pneumonia shots. I accepted her recommendation to take that one.

Hope I made the correct decisions. I am comfortable with them.

Old-timer

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

That's interesting.

FWIW, the pharmaceutical companies seem to be really pimping both shingles and pneumonia vaccines on TV big time.  While there is apparently a legitimate reason to promote the shingles vaccine, I'm wondering why there's NOW such a push for pneumonia vaccinations too.

While I don't recall a specific shingles vaccine recommended -- usually it's just a PSA (public service announcement -- I've seen lots of Prevar13 (Pfizer) pneumonia vaccine commercials on my cable channels, which (if it costs as much as the shingles vaccination does) means a lot of $ to Pfizer.

The question is -- Is there really sufficiently a HIGH RISK of getting pneumonia to require the "blanket" vaccination of everyone over 50 (the eligible age) for it?  I think not. 

Of course, there may be people who are at risk for pnemonia for certain reasons.  I've not nothing against vaccinating peope for it on a case by base basis.  It's the claim that anyone over 50 is "at risk" for getting pneumonia and should be vaccinated against it. 

According to Prevnar's site, about 300k adults over 50 contracted pneumonia in 2004 and had to be hospitalized.  Assuming this # has been constant over the past 6 years, it represents only 1/10 of 1% of the US population  (over 300 million) and about 1/4 of 1% of the population of people over 55 (about 77 million) based on the 2010 Census.  So, this doesn't seem like a very great risk to me statistically.

FWIW, I've known a lot of people my life over 50 and NONE of them ever contracted pneumonia at ANY AGE -- not my mother (who's still alive a 101), my father who died at 89, my sister who's over 70, my 12 other anuts and uncles who all died of "other causes" at age 65+ and none of my over 15 so immediate 1st and 2nd cousins who are now all over 50 too.  Ironically, the only person I know who EVER had pneumonia was ME, when I was in my 20's.

So, while getting the pneumonia vacciation probably won't hurt, I really question the real "need" for a generally policy of preventative vaccination for it.  Shingles is different because, if you get it, it really can't be treated and makes your life pretty miserable.  So, it's a good idea to get vaccinated for it, if you are at risk for it, even if the odds are fairly slim that you'll get it and that the shingles vaccination may not even prevent it.

BUT, if you happen to get pneumoia, which is fairly rare and pretty easily diagnosed, you can just take basic antibiotics (like penicillin) to treat it.  That's how they treated me when I got it at an early age.  So, why bother vaccinating yourself for a rare event which is easily treatable?

I don't get it and I won't get vaccinated for it, unless a doctor can explain why s/he thinks I am personally "at risk" for it and should get vaccination to prevent it.

VascodaGama's picture
VascodaGama
Posts: 2958
Joined: Nov 2010

Swing;   It seems that, in some places or regions more affected by air pollution, it makes sense to get the pneumonia vaccination. Old guys are more at risk because they may be less receptive to antibiotics. Our senior Jerry, though, yet just an aged friend, not yet an old guy, could probably avoided the vaccine, but for being a long PCa patient with years in treatment it makes sense in having it. His immune system may be better prepared to sustain the pneumonia vaccine than the shingles one.

The link provided above by Hopeful (Ira) explains everything. They advice NOT to take the Shingles vaccine if one:
1)  Had a life-threatening or severe allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of shingles vaccine.

2)  Has a weakened immune system because of cancer therapy.

Interestingly, it also comments that the vaccine is protective for a period of 5 years only. It does not suggest repeating vaccination but it tells that 51% of naive guys in a trial managed to avoid an outbreak, and it protected 67% for guys you had it (post-herpetic neuralgia).

Well, which line should we follow? I believe my body is not well prepared for such a vaccination. The radiation therapy and then the hormonal manipulations may have had a meaning in my outbreak.

Better safe than sorry. I would recommend to all, who have not the experience yet, to get vaccinated. Shingles could very well be considered a part of the so called “long term side effects” from PCa treatments, because of the precarious status we become from being a PCa survivor.

I wonder about the Swing's experience with the December vaccination. Any particular to be pointed out?

Thanks to everyone who have shared their views about Shingles.

VG

 

Old-timer's picture
Old-timer
Posts: 196
Joined: Apr 2011

In deciding whether to follow my doc's advice, I considered Shingles and Pneumonia shots issues separately. On a different doctor's advice seven years ago, I said no to Shingles vaccination. That recommendtion was partially based on the information that I had not had Chicken Pox. Right or wrong, yesterday, I reconfirmed that decision.

Accepting the pneumonia shot was easy for me because, over the years, I have observed that many 'old" people die when they come down with pneumonia. I know about modern miracle drugs; they saved me when I had pneumonia at the age of 60. I also profess that I am not particularly afraid of dying; nevertheless, considering my age, this seems like a worthwhile insurance policy.

Old-timer

hopeful and opt...
Posts: 2218
Joined: Apr 2009

information pneumonia occurances and mortality for those who are over 65

 

http://www.immunize.org/askexperts/experts_pneumococcal_vaccines.asp

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 1013
Joined: Mar 2010

I was NOT questioning Old-timer's choice to NOT take the shingles vacccination OR his decision to get the pnenumonia vacciation. Old-timer definitely falls w/in the guidelines against the shingles vaccination and, as he mentioned below, had previously contracted pneumonia late in life so was probably "at risk" for it.

FWIW, I was just "pondering" the general question of whether it is good "policy" to suggest that people over 50 (or even 65) get "routinely" vaccinated against pneumonia.  I don't think the statistics justify such a blanket policy and that it would (as in Old-timer's case) be administered on a patient by patient basis. 

The additional data provided for those over 65 provides further evidence of the LACK of general necessity for general policy for pneumonia vaccination.  The link Vasco provided reports that just 13 thousand people in the US over 65 contracted pneumonia in 2013.  However, the population of people in the US over 65 in 2010 was 40 million.  That means that only 3 out of 10 thousand people (or about 3 one thousandth of 1 percent of the population) over age 65 contracted the disease.  That's really a very low risk for the population of people 65 and older generally.

As for my shingles vaccination, I did not experience any apparent side effects.  I don't know if it was just a coincidence or not BUT, about a week or so after the shot, I did experience a strange "rash-like" irritation along my left ribcage and by left tricep (where people who get shingles report that the rash often occurs) BUT there were no blisters or redness of the skin associated with this feeling, which went away w/o treatment after a couple weeks or so.

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