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Yikes! Hurts too bad to wear a shirt!

Shingles is a blistering skin rash that can cause severe pain, even long after the rash is gone. You may have heard the sad story of agonizing discomfort from your family and friends or from celebrities on TV.

If you've had the chicken pox, you're at risk for shingles. The same virus causes both diseases, and once it's in your body from the chicken pox, it remains with you and can reemerge years later as shingles.

At least one million people a year in the United States get shingles, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it's far more common in individuals age 50 and older than in younger people. If you’re in the risky age bracket and want to reduce your chances of getting the disease, consider a shingles vaccination.

Shingles vaccinations are considered preventive care and are covered at 100 percent by your Purdue medical plan. They're recommended for people age 60 and older.

The vaccination is available on the West Lafayette campus through the Center for Healthy Living (CHL). To get the vaccination, you'll need an order from your CHL or community primary care provider.

You may be able to get the vaccination at your community doctor's office, but call ahead first. The vaccine must be stored in a freezer, which many physician's offices don’t have.

In addition, several retail pharmacies offer the vaccination on a walk-in basis. To get a shingles vaccination at a pharmacy, show your 2014 Purdue medical plan ID card from Anthem.

For more information on shingles, see the CDC website at To make an appointment at the Center for Healthy Living, call 765-494-0111.

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