IN SUMMARY: GSK needs to do more DTC around their Shingrix vaccine especially since the earlier one was a lot less effective. DTC creates awareness and we need more awareness around shingles.
Most of the readers to my website know that I am a huge bike rider riding over 100+ miles a week. It’s great exercise and often helps me come up with answers to client problems while I’m pedaling.
So far I’ve ridden close to 2,000 miles this year so you could say I have been spending a lot of time on the saddle. Last Monday I noticed my leg was really sore from a 35-mile bike ride the day before. Then on Tuesday, I noticed a small rash which quickly spread all over my leg. My wife immediately said that it looked like shingles but I had the vaccine almost 5 years ago.
After the rash spread with small blisters I went to an immediate care center where the doctor quickly diagnosed me with a case of shingles. When I asked him how I could get shingles after being vaccinated he quickly responded “the old vaccine was only 45-50% effective and after 5 years tends to wear off. What!? Why in the hell didn’t anyone tell me? Why did I have to spend over two hours online researching this?
While people call for a reduction in DTC a DTC ad for Shingrix could have educated me that I needed a new vaccine. I was also very upset that GSK and my doctor never bothered to tell me that the old vaccine needed to be replaced by the new one.
I’m lucky in that my case is mild but it’s enough to stop my riding for at least a week including a scheduled 100-mile ride in Tampa. GSK needs to educate more people about the new vaccine and they need to use TV to do it since people 55+ watch more TV than any other demographic.
If you had chicken pox and are over 50 PLEASE see your doctor about the vaccination. This is not fun to have but some DTC could have saved me from this nasty skin condition.