Yesterday I learned a new German word, "Gürtelrose." I wanted to tell my German conversation group about my getting a shingles shot, and I suspected "Schindeln," the word for roof shingles, wasn't the right one. The disease, according to my iPad's dictionary, is called "Gürtelrose," literally "belt rose."
It was the second of a 2-shot series which the new Shingrix vaccine requires. CVS was a little sneaky in not telling me a second one was required till after I'd paid for the first one. The first cost $170, the second $150. It's not pocket change, but I can afford it.
Whether it was worth it is another question. I've read that the disease hits 1 adult in 3, but this sounds unlikely. Here's a more detailed and plausible breakdown, which gives a 1 in 5 lifetime probability. The good news is that Shingrix showed a high efficacy rate in trials.
How bad is shingles? It's not life-threatening, but descriptions say it's very unpleasant. The shot was an intramuscular one and still hurts the next day, but the disease must be a lot worse. The Mayo Clinic says it often manifests as "a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of your torso." That would explain "Gürtelrose."
I'm not dissatisfied with my decision, just thinking about it. I hope no one here thinks it's "anti-vax" to weigh costs against benefits.