In reference to “Few adults waiting in line for new vaccines” (1/24, A-3), I am not surprised no one is getting them. In the case of the shingles vaccine, Zostavax, manufactured by Merck, they are charging in excess of $190 per shot. I was told that the “Red Book,” a national pharmacy guide, reports the average wholesale price is $196.
The shot is primarily for citizens over the age of 60. I do not know how commercial insurance is dealing with this price for their clients between 60 and 64. I do know that Medicare will not pay for it. I can only guess why this is so.
Medicare feels the price is too high and Merck will not discount this new shot. Medicare is holding out for a better price.
I’m sure Medicare will pay for treatment of citizens who actually get shingles, but will not pay for the prevention.
My wife and I are both 65 years of age and would like to get the shot, but will probably wait until Medicare decides to pay for most of the vaccine. We are gambling that we won’t get shingles.
Paul L. Zirjacks