East Texans Excited About New Shingles Vaccine

An East Texas woman, whose suffered from shingles for years, is relieved about a new FDA approved vaccine.   The new vaccine, called Zostavax, will help in preventing shingles.  Shingles is the re-emergence of chicken-pox in older adults.

"Before the shingles break out, you have terrible pain.  It feels like someone is sticking a hot knife, I would imagine, in you, it's just terrible pain like that.  Mine is on my back and come all the way around," says Louise Rook.

She was diagnosed with shingles 3 and a half years ago.

"You are just worn out after 3 1/2 years. I'm just worn out. I can't do things like I use to anymore," says Louise.

Louise is 84 years old and active. But, shingles has caused her to quit some of the things she loves to do.

"I've always fixed my flower bed but I just can't do that anymore. We eat out most of the time at noon because of me having to prepare so much so we eat out," says Louise.

Dr. David Lackey with UT Health Center says shingles is a very common viral infection.

"The shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus that lays dormant in your body and when your immunity lowers the virus can come back," says Dr. Lakey.

The virus causes pain instead of itching. However, the new vaccine called Zostavax will help prevent shingles from emerging.

"For individuals patient it decreases there chance of getting the disease by half and the pain with it by two thirds, is very important," says Dr. Lakey.

Important for people like, Louise who says she's on the road to recovery.

"I think it is beginning to heal after 3 1/2 half years, I think it's beginning to heal," says Louise.

She says she will take the new vaccine in a minute if it would get rid of her pain.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com