Vaccinations are a critical part of overall health for developing bodies, but they’re also beneficial for adults who require protection from viruses. Following a proper vaccination schedule as recommended by a physician can help to prevent a number of conditions, including the herpes zoster virus, also known as shingles.

Understanding the Effects of Shingles
When someone contracts shingles, the disease typically manifests itself through the development of a painful rash. This rash is often red in color and may also include the development of blisters. Those affected may also develop a fever, experience fatigue and suffer from frequent headaches during an outbreak. The rash associated with shingles will usually be located on one side of the torso, but it may appear on both sides or on other areas of the body.

Because the virus takes hold in nerve tissue, pain medication specifically targeting nerve damage may be used. Even after someone has suffered an outbreak and it looks like the symptoms are gone, the disease can still lie dormant for years before striking again. Transmission of shingles often happens through contact with the rash and affected cells that may leak from a blister.

Does Aetna Medicare Cover Shingles Vaccine?
Aetna is one of the largest providers of health insurance products in the United States, and the company also provides Medicare coverage for members who qualify to take part in the program. If you’re on Medicare and have an Aetna plan, you’ll be happy to know that vaccination for shingles is typically considered medically necessary, and therefore, it will be covered by your plan.

Aetna Medicare coverage for shingles vaccination will generally fall under Part B of your plan, but it could possibly be considered as an expense under Part A if the vaccine is administered secondary to a stay in a skilled nursing facility. One of the reasons many Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage of the shingles vaccine is due to research that suggests that shingles can have a greater negative impact on older individuals. Aetna may also provide coverage for re-vaccinations for shingles in certain patients who have received stem-cell therapy.

Preventing the Spread of Shingles is Important
Aside from receiving a vaccination, it’s also important to take steps to prevent contact with the shingles virus, and if you have shingles, you need to take steps to reduce the chance for transmission. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person with active shingles can spread the virus when the rash is in the blister-phase.

If you have the virus and it is active, avoiding touching others or allowing others to come into contact with areas that are affected by a rash or blisters. Hand washing is also important for carriers who are dealing with an outbreak as the fluids from blisters can get on hands and other parts of the body and spread to others.

Talk To to Your Doctor
Vaccination is a key step in preventing the spread of shingles, but if you have already contracted the virus, a vaccination will not be able to prevent the disease. If you have any questions regarding your level of risk for contracting or spreading shingles, speak with your physician. He or she will be able to evaluate your unique situation and provide helpful information regarding options to ease your pain, prevent transmission and live healthy without letting shingles affect your quality of life.

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