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Herpes Zoster Vaccination

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Introduction

Herpes Zoster, also known as shingles, is an infection of the skin and nerves surrounding the infected part. According to Dunphy, Winland-Brown, Porter, & Thomas (2015), the disease develops on one side of the body, mainly the torso or the face. In most cases, the infection lasts for a few weeks, but it may persist leading to complications. The main symptoms of Herpes Zoster are pain followed by rashes, which later develop into itchy blisters. Although shingles is not life-threatening, it is advisable for the patient to seek medical attention soon after the symptoms appear. This paper reviews the general guidelines for the administration of Herpes Zoster vaccine and discusses specific educational, social and cultural concerns associated with it.

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Herpes Zoster Vaccination of Geriatric Patients

Herpes Zoster vaccination is recommendable for a geriatric patient. By definition, the latter is a person of the old age who has the overall impaired function of the body. Such patients suffer from physical, chronic, and cognitive impairments. which affect the aging immune system (Williams et al., 2015). Therefore, a vaccination against the infection would be appropriate for people above 60 years to boost the immune function of the body. Furthermore, older people with shingles are likely to develop chickenpox. Consequently, it is recommendable for them to receive a vaccination to prevent the spread of the disease. Shingles is known to lead to complications if necessary measures are not taken at the earliest opportunity (CDC, 2015). Therefore, the vaccine would be vital to deter the development of severe nervous disorders, which last for months.

Geriatric Patient Educational Website

The American Geriatrics Society (http://www.americangeriatrics.org/) is an organization of health professionals committed to improving the health and quality of life of all older people regardless of their backgrounds. Its non-profit website offers educational materials and resources aimed at promoting the basic clinical and health services regarding the health of senior citizens. Through its partner program, the Health in Aging Foundation, the organization aims at rendering health information to old adults and those taking care of them (The American Geriatrics Society, 2016). Besides, it supports extensive research on such disorders and diseases as Herpes Zoster. With its initiative called Aging & Health, the website offers educational materials on more than 60 conditions affecting older people, including obvious symptoms, causes and treatment options (The American Geriatrics Society, 2016). Besides, the organization provides numerous publications, such as journals, newsletters, modules and pocket cards with critical educational information about shingles at the old age.

Educational, Social, or Cultural Concerns

There are specific educational, social and cultural considerations before the administration of Herpes Zoster vaccine to older people. For instance, some communities are reluctant to be vaccinized citing educational materials discouraging the second vaccination. Besides some social aspects, such as poverty, influence the administration of drugs. Many persons mention a high cost of medications as the major impediment to older people vaccination (Ball, Dains, Flynn, Solomon, & Stewart, 2014). Therefore, it will be prudent for health officials to deal with the concerns before actual vaccine administration. Similarly, there are different cultural concerns about Herpes Zoster vaccine. For instance, most individuals in Asia and Africa accept shingles vaccination as a ploy by western countries to infect their communities with unknown diseases (Bal et al., 2014). Therefore, dealing with their concerns is necessary for the vaccination initiative.

Conclusion

Herpes Zoster, also known as shingles, is a skin infection resulting in itchy blisters. The administration of the vaccine is highly recommended for people at the old age to boost their immunity and stop the further spread of the disease. Although there exist educational, social and cultural concerns about vaccination, it is critical for health officials to work closely with communities to ensure successful campaigns.

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