Can confirm, the 2nd shot was much worse.
How long was your interval—closer to the two month minimum, or the six month maximum?
Mine was two months apart. 2nd dose wiped me out starting 12 hours from the shot, and lasting another 24 hours with fever, chills, and aches. And both shots hurt my arm like hell for a few days. Glad to have that over with.
Got it. I’ve heard that a shorter interval (like what you experienced) may lead to a stronger bodily response (that is, harsher side effects).
At least now you’re good for ten years, right? That part is great.
I haven’t seen any recommendations for another shot later in life. Based on what I read online, the research hasn’t been done for the new vaccine. Hopefully I won’t need it.
If the recommendation is ten years between the vaccine series, I hope you do need it. That means you’re alive and well a decade from now!
Our local clinic (康樂診所) says they carry Shingrix but you have to call to see when they have it in stock; it’s $8600 per dose, x 2 there. So the $7k per sounds like the best price so far. I considered the old (live-attenuated one) but the efficacy was low, and I didn’t want shell out what at the time was around $7k or more for a vaccine that might not work.
Now that I’m immuno-compromised I regret that, as I am at high risk of shingles at present (and 58 y.o.), and when my dad got it in his 70’s it was all over the face, and excruciating. But $17,200 for a newer vaccine is not reasonable, especially not given the lower salaries on average in Taiwan. GSK really rakes in the money on these optional vaccines; I realize it costs a ton to develop drugs, and I value what they and other firms do to invent new cures and vaccines, but outrageous pricing seems to be part of the corporate culture in US pharmaceuticals. The pricing seems unethical. It’s too bad they don’t make them affordable; they might make more $ overall if they lowered the price and more people got them, and they put it out of reach of many, so the poor suffer.
I’m sorry to hear what happened to your Dad. Shingles on the face (and in the eye!) is Bad News. If it’s not diagnosed or treated properly, it’s possible you can go blind. Source: my personal experience, which was deeply unfun.
In no way does this justify the bourgeois pricing of this boutique vaccine. Quite the contrary, it means this should be subsidized through NHI to make it more accessible to all.
For the record, that is roughly double the cost I paid in Canada for my first shot.
Thanks! It sounds like we should join together to shop around; maybe someone can find a better price. I’ll ask at NTUCC today.
Edit: just asked. The price is fixed by GSK, so it’s no cheaper here.
Not free in Canada?
Alberta Health, I have heard, covers it. Perhaps other provinces too, though I am unaware of those details.
Alas, I am not covered by Alberta Health.
An update: I received my Shingrix booster (it’s a two dose vaccine) in early February here in Taipei. It required some phoning around, and found a clinic in Daan which had it in stock. It was not cheap (about NT$8900 if I recall correctly). This was around double what I paid for the first shot in Canada. Well at least it’s done!
I should also mention the side effects which have also been described above. I had the fever / chills combo, just as I did with the first shot, which kicked in about six hours after I received the vaccine and then lasted around 24 hours. This time I also experienced quite a bit of muscle pain, almost a full body ache. It was not great, and then the side effects simply disappeared, roughly 36 hours after the shot.
I just received the first dose of Shingrix in Taipei. Here are the details of the clinic for anyone looking for more information:
Nice Clinique 尼斯診所
No. 51號, Lane 190, Section 1, Dunhua S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
1 dose is NT$8800, so total cost will be NT$17600
2 doses required within 6 months, preferably 2+ months between doses
NHI is not accepted for this
The whole process was very efficient. I had a quick consultation with a doctor, and the nurses administered the vaccine shot.
I contacted them via Facebook messenger and made an appointment. They seem to have 1 nurse who can speak English, so replies in English may take a day or two.
Good to hear you could get this done in Taipei. I do wish though the prices in Taiwan were not that insanely high. When will this vaccine be NOT treated like some kind of boutique product?
Certain large vaccine companies have been charging outrageous amounts for optional vaccines, such as against cervical cancer and shingles, for many years now. While I recognize that there are development costs, there are in my considered opinion also ethical limits on profit margins when a product can save lives and prevent true suffering. Now life and health are available only to the wealthy, which means that such prices and profit margins only serve to increase the disparities in our societies. It is my assumption that due to its unethically high prices, big pharma (and much of the medical industry) has deep pockets and probably strong control over our elected representatives in Congress who could act to stop such behavior with things like price controls, threatening to remove preferential tax treatments or impose punitive ones, or even, when the public good outweighs the traditional justifications for laissez-faire (good ones, including incentive to create new vaccines), to allow other firms to produce the same drug without remuneration or with only limited fees to an abusive monopolist. I’m a centrist when it comes to the balance between laissez-faire and socialism, I guess, but it’s cases like this and medical bills in the US, including abusive surprise additions of very high consulting fees for doctors the patient hasn’t even consulted, and failure to disclose detailed costs in advance, as well as failure to make exceptions for the relatively non-wealthy or even downright poor, which push me in the direction of government intervention here.
There are pharma companies that have not behaved this way, and have even made life-saving or life-prolonging treatments for rare illnesses (including mine) available for free to such patients, while charging reasonable prices on drugs in most other countries. I don’t buy the arguments of pharma-defenders that the US situation is justified by either laissez-faire or incentive to produce new medicines. Anyone who defends abuse of monopoly which results in only the wealthy being able to afford health care must have something broken in their heart.
Isn’t part of the problem here the Taiwan side importing these vaccines? The price being charged is roughly double what I was quoted in North America.
In comparison, the cost for a full course, 2 doses, of Shingrix at non-NHS clinics in the UK ranges from £450 to £600 (NT$17400 to NT$23,000), so maybe not THAT bad a price in Taiwan.
It’s only available for free on the UK NHS for over 70s.
“Isn’t part of the problem here the Taiwan side importing these vaccines?”
It doesn’t happen AFAIK with other vaccines; only with the optional ones that some big pharma unethically decide to treat as luxury items to gouge the rich, without giving a shit that they exclude the poor, are hard on middle-class budgets, and without any apparent care for the general welfare of the population — their eyes being only on their own bottom line. At least that is my impression.