The new vaccination for shingles, SHINGRIX, is now available. Vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and post-herpetic neuropathy, the most common complication of shingles.

The CDC recommends that healthy adults age 50 and older get two doses of SHINGRIX, separated by 2 to 6 months, to prevent shingles and its complications. SHINGRIX is preferred over Zostavax, a shingles vaccine in use since 2006. (If you have had Zostavax in the recent past, you should wait at least 8 weeks before getting SHINGRIX)

If you have questions, talk to your doctor about the best time to get SHINGRIX and its possible side effects.

Insurance coverage/where to get the vaccination

With regard to insurance coverage and obtaining the vaccination, our latest information is as follows:


Medicare Part D plans cover SHINGRIX, but there may be a cost to you, depending on your plan. There may be a co-pay, or you may need to pay in full and then get reimbursed for the amount covered.

Your physician can send a prescription to your pharmacy with a refill for the second dose. If the vaccination is administered at the pharmacy (Note: not all pharmacies offer this option), please provide our office with documentation of both doses of the immunization so we can update your chart accordingly. If you choose to schedule an appointment here (and properly transport the vaccination to our office to be administered), we will document the administration accordingly.

Commercial (non-Medicare) Insurance

If you have a commercial insurance plan, we have been advised that your insurance will generally cover most of the cost of the vaccine, but please check with your individual plan to confirm, as they do vary.

We plan to maintain a supply of SHINGRIX vaccinations in our office and will be offering the vaccination both at previously scheduled routine office visits, as well as to patients scheduling appointments specifically for the vaccination.

Or if you prefer to get the vaccine at your pharmacy, your physician can send a prescription to the pharmacy with a refill for the second dose, which may be administered at the pharmacy or at our office if transported properly. If your vaccination is provided elsewhere, please provide our office with documentation of the dose(s) so we may update your medical record accordingly.

Please let us know if you have any questions about SHINGRIX. Our staff has been advised regarding answers to commonly asked questions, and we are happy to help you with the vaccination process.

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Due to construction odors, Bethesda Medical Associate elected to close our office. Our phones will still be monitored by our technicians. However, our office will be closed for all appointments, classes, and other business. We expect to be able to reopen Thursday, February 1, 2024 at our normal time of 8:00 am. We do apologize for any inconvenience.