Shingles Prevention Act, H.R. 5877 (110)
In brief: A bill to amend Part B of title XVIII of the Social Security Act to provide coverage for the shingles vaccine under the medicare program.
Status and details | Complete history
Over one million cases of the shingles disease are diagnosed in the United States every year. It is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox and is usually found in people age 60 and older, with those age 85 and older having a 50 percent chance of developing shingles. The very painful complications of the disease include:
- Itching, tingling, or burning of the skin
- A rash or fluid filled blisters, usually found on one side of the body or face
- Some people develop long term nerve pain called posttherpetic neuralgia or PHN after the rash heals
- Hearing and vision loss
- Paralysis on one side of the face
- Muscle weakness
In May 2006, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first ever vaccine for adult shingles. The new vaccine has been proven to prevent approximately half of all outbreaks. Over 47 million Americans are at risk of developing shingles and would be helped by receiving this vaccination. However, the vaccine may cost hundreds of dollars, making it out of reach for many older people who are at greatest risk of developing the disease. The Shingles Prevention Act would make the vaccine much more affordable for the average American.
The Shingles Prevention Act was referred to U.S. House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees in April 2008. It did not see further committee action before the end of the Congressional legislative session.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke maintains information on the symptoms, treatment, and research related to shingles
ğRead about shingles on the Mayo Clinic website
ğRead the press release issued when Rep. Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii introduced The Shingles Act