Shingles Vaccine Cost

Shingles Vaccine Cost – With or Without Medicare

Last Updated on February 10, 2023 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on June 24, 2014 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

Many people are curious about the shingles vaccine cost. But before talking about the actual costs, you need to understand what the shingles vaccine is all about and how it can help you.

Then you’ll understand if this particular vaccine is something you need or not. If you’re one of the people that don’t know what vaccines are, how they can help you, how they work, and why they are internationally used, consult a doctor or medical expert. If you only need information about this particular vaccine, read the article below:

Information On The Shingles Vaccine

Although it may start as a rash, Shingles will lead to a debilitating condition, if it isn’t stopped during the early stages. The rashes will be formed in a kind of ailment and they will slowly become agonizing. Many old people go through these symptoms. The virus that causes Shingles is of the same family as the one causing chickenpox but is a lot more violent in symptoms, causing severe rashes. That’s the main reason why you need to take all of the precautions.

Your doctor can confirm that the virus causing chickenpox is something you can never get rid of in most cases. It will lie dormant in our bodies. In some particular cases, when a person is affected by shingles it will cause the chickenpox virus to revive. The shingles vaccine is something greatly recommended to people in 50 years and older. You should seek the shingles vaccine only if your immune system is within normal parameters and not compromised in such a way that it isn’t functioning normally anymore.

Typical costs:

If you are not covered by medical insurance, the full cost of the shingles vaccination will include the following: the cost of the shot administration and the cost of just one required dose of vaccine, in most cases, and a consultation fee, if you don’t get the vaccination during your routine doctor visit, for a total price of around $200 to $250. Two well-known examples are The Shot Nurse, a mobile vaccination service in Tennessee, that charges $205, and Walgreens’ Take Care Clinics which will charge about $220.

What Should Be Included:

Zostavax, a well-known brand for shingles vaccines recommends the administration of a single shot of their vaccine.

There are a few known cases where the shingles vaccine was not effective 100%. The best results were noticed in people aged 60 to 69 and it will prevent shingles about 50% of the time. Patients that wouldn’t get shingles anyway should know that this vaccination will prevent post-herpetic neuralgia, a very painful symptom that persists after the shingles rash clears.

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Additional costs:

You could need a booster shot of the same vaccine in the future, as there isn’t any information about how long protection will last.

Shingles Vaccine Side Effects

There are no noticeable side effects of the vaccine, only the common ones for any other vaccination. The only requirement is that you have a normal, working immune system when getting the shot.

Reaction To Shingles Shot

When you get the shingles vaccine you may experience some of the reactions below:

  • The vaccine is not recommended for people suffering from tuberculosis or people that try to become pregnant.
  • People undergoing chemotherapy or people that suffer from AIDS or HIV will have their immune systems compromised, so vaccination will not be recommended in their cases.
  • People that are allergic to gelatin could notice an adverse reaction to the vaccine shot.
  • Some pain and tenderness in the area where the injection is given. You could even experience headaches.shingles vaccine

Effectiveness Of Shingles Vaccine

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If there are older members of the family in the household, your family physician will always recommend the shingles vaccine. For many, this remains the only tool against this disease and many other illnesses from the same family of conditions, like chickenpox, commonly known and feared by many people.

Many people still suffer from post-herpetic neuralgia, the common condition of pain occurring after the rashes disappear. The vaccine will make this pain go away. Thus, one should discuss with their physician the likelihood of contracting such an illness and why one should take up such a vaccine in the first place. Doctors will be able to provide the right advice to their patients.

How can you save on the shingles vaccine cost?

There are a few tips you can follow to spend less for a shingles vaccine, like:

  1. Get assistance from the vaccine maker: You can take advantage of the GSK Patient Assistance Program provided by GlaxoSmithKline if you meet their criteria. You might be able to qualify for this if your annual salary is under $32,200.
  2. Apply for a state pharmaceutical assistance program: her are state programs that might be able to help you reduce the cost of all kinds of prescription medication, including the shingles vaccine.
  3. Get a discount coupon for the shingles vaccine: Pharmaceutical retailers and networks may offer vaccine discounts. Usually, you’ll present the coupon or the drug discount card at the pharmacy to get the savings.
  4. Try to improve your drug coverage or sign up for Medicare Coverage: You can go for a prescription drug plan while enrolling, which will cover tier 3 type of medicine, which includes Shingrix. Keep in mind that the total policy costs for your prescriptions are also important. Medicare Part D plans might also be available for free, especially if you receive a low-income subsidy.
  5. Get a prescription and then visit an in-network pharmacy: You will pay less for the vaccine if it is administered under a prescription drug plan, at an in-network pharmacy. If you go to a doctor’s office to get the shot, you might be charged an added doctor’s fee for the vaccine to be administered.

Does Medicare cover the shingles vaccine?

  1. The Medicare supplement plans, also known as Medigap plans, won’t cover the shingles vaccine. Some private health insurance plans don’t either. This is because they don’t offer prescription drug coverage.
  2. The Original Medicare plan, comprised of Medicare Part A and B, won’t cover the shingles vaccine. Although, Medicare Part B might be able to cover your doctor’s visit fee when you’re going in to get a prescription for the shingles vaccine.
  3. Based on your particular policy details and the deductible amount, the final amount you will be asked to pay may vary. The shingles vaccine might be free for some enrollees, even though others might be required to pay the full price when deductibles aren’t met before cost-sharing benefits can begin.
  4. Although they might not cover the vaccine in full, All medicare prescription drug plans will offer at least a sort of coverage for the shingles vaccine. This coverage can be found under the Medical Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan.


If you are in the age group that is more likely to contract this illness, you should understand the necessity of getting this vaccination. As for the shingles vaccine cost, expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $250 for the vaccination.

Make sure you document yourself, as many health insurance plans might not cover this particular vaccination. If you still are unsure of the reasons behind going through this vaccination, talk to your physician, as he will be able to give you the right advice and talk about the good parts and the bad parts of the shingles vaccination.

Frequently asked questions

Does the Medicare Plan cover shingles and pneumonia vaccines?

When it comes to the pneumonia vaccine, you should know that it is fully covered under the Medicare Part B plan, which means that people covered by this plan can get the vaccine for free. The shingles vaccine, on the other hand, will fall under the prescription drug plan, and you might be covered either under the Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D or the Medicare Part D itself.

Is the shingles shot free for seniors?

Not all seniors can get a free shingles vaccine, and the actual out-of-pocket cost will depend on your individual Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage prescription drug benefits. Any senior that doesn’t have a prescription drug plan will pay the full price of the shingles vaccine as long as they don’t use a cost-saving method to access a discounted price for the vaccine.

What’s the cost of the shingles vaccine?