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Lin-Manuel Miranda could have prevented shingles with vaccine

Shingrix, a shingles vaccine approved in October, is being touted by an infectious disease specialist as a better alternative to Zostavax to prevent the extremely painful rash

Shingrix “is not a live virus,” Peter Gulick, an infectious disease specialist at the MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine in Michigan, told MSU’s WKAR. “They’ve taken a part of the virus, and they’ve attached onto it another substance which can very much stimulate the immune system.”As a result, Shingrix is “much much more effective” than current treatment options, he said.

An estimated 1 million people in the U.S. suffer from shingles, also known as herpes zoster, each year in U.S. “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted about being diagnosed with shingles last week. Anyone who has recovered from chickenpox may develop shingles; even children can get shingles.

Shingrix is being recommended for people starting at age 50. (Miranda, 38, falls below this threshold.) It’s administered in two doses, two to six months apart.

‘Hamilton’ creator Lin-Manuel Miranda suffering from shingles

“It tends to have a longer ability to protect you,” said Gulick, who added that people vaccinated with Zostavax vaccine in the last couple of years should be re-vaccinated with Shingrix.

“There’s no harm to doing that,” he said, “plus, you’re getting a more effective vaccine.”

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