Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Funds granted to Springfield-Greene County Health Department will help prevent shingles

A man receives a shingles vaccination
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A man receives a shingles vaccination

1 in 3 people in the U.S. will suffer from shingles in their lifetimes.

Shingles is an illness that affects a lot of people. Around one of every three people in the U.S. will develop shingles, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And the risk increases as you get older.

The illness can leave some with long-term nerve pain. Around 10 percent of those who get shingles will have lasting painful symptoms.

Symptoms include a rash, fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. Before the rash appears, people often have pain, itching or tingling in the area.

Severe complications, although rare, include blindness, hearing problems and brain inflammation.

If you had chickenpox as a child, you’re at greater risk for shingles.

Free vaccine for Greene County residents 60 and over

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department just received the largest grant ever for its shingles immunization and education program from the Greene County Senior Citizens’ Services Fund Board.

Kendra Findlay is the health department’s administrator of community health and epidemiology.

"That grant, which is just under $400,000, pays for Greene County citizens 60 and over to receive the shingles vaccine," said Findlay.

The money—$396,097 this year—allows people who otherwise couldn’t afford the vaccine to get it, she said.

Last year, the health department’s shingles program provided more than 1500 immunizations to Greene County residents 60 and older at Jordan Valley Community Health Center and at outreach clinics.

How to get a vaccine

Find out more about the free shingles vaccines offered by the health department for those 60 and over at or by calling 417-864-1658.

The CDC recommends that anyone 50 and older receive the two-shot shingles vaccine even if you have had shingles in the past or unsure if you ever had chickenpox.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.