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  #1  
Old 12 September 2019, 00:52
yrot yrot is offline
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Shingrix Shingles Vaccine

The VA administered the first dose of the Shingrix Shingles vaccine to dad a little over 4 months ago and was told at that time to get the 2nd dose within 4 months. I've been trying for 5 weeks now to get him the 2nd vaccine - the local VA is out of it and hasn't received their new supply as of this morning. Twice I've been told they have it and to come as a walk-in since I can't schedule an appointment b/c his VA doctor has left and none of the other VA doctors are accepting new patients; but that's another story. The VA is also saying it'll be okay if he gets the 2nd vaccine within 6 months. Six months is going to run out pretty quick....

Do I need to contact an advocate about this? Would an advocate be able to do anything about it (help light a fire under whoever needs it or get the ball rolling on them getting the supplies quickly)?

I'm slightly pissed at their pushing the 1st of 2 vaccines without knowing for sure that they would have the 2nd in supply in a timely manner.

Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks...
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Old 12 September 2019, 05:46
schibbs schibbs is offline
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Am afraid I can't be of much help. I had no problem getting my 2 vaccines, but I have learned every VA region seems to be a different creature. I would just keep pounding em with calls and emails. The Doctor side of things is familiar to me and has to be absolutely frustrating to those with greater needs than myself. I do not have a Doc now either, but my nurse of 13 years has been more than productive for me, for now.
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Old 12 September 2019, 12:24
yrot yrot is offline
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Originally Posted by schibbs View Post
I do not have a Doc now either, but my nurse of 13 years has been more than productive for me, for now.
I truly wish you the best of luck navigating the 3rd party doctor path if you have to go there. Dad needed his 6-month lab work & checkup in mid-August (in order to get the scripts renewed). Started a month and a half early to get his lab & doctor appts scheduled - had previously been down the road of not being able to schedule VA lab work without a VA doctor appointment. This is when I found out his latest VA doctor had left and none of the other VA doctors were accepting new patients. Got wrong information about me needing to contact TriWest to get a 3rd party approval. TriWest says the request has to come from the VA, that it takes about a week for the VA to process it and another week for TriWest to review and process. To further complicate matters, I want approval for a specific doctor who is already dad's outside Primary Care Physician. Trying to find out if he is on the approved TriWest list and can/will accept a TriWest referral was another wild goose chase on his staff's side. Finally get ahold of someone at the VA who has a clue (kudos Scott) and knows how to submit the request. 3 weeks go by and still no word on if dad's approved to go 3rd party. Call TriWest - they haven't received the request. Call Scott, who after a little digging says the VA cancelled the request but can't find out why and gives me the advocate's phone #. Advocate digs and calls back saying VA cancelled request b/c dad saw a VA doctor in May and decided he doesn't need to see another doctor now. WTF? (State Atty Generals have sued Insurance companies for practicing medicine w/o a license over shit exactly like this.) Blew my stack - getting a vaccination in May does not negate his needing his 6-month lab & checkup so that the scripts that are about to expire can get renewed. Advocate doesn't know whether case can be reopened or if they will have to submit a new request starting the whole 2 week process crap again. Impress upon advocate that time is of the essence as he already has an appt w/ his PCP and 2 week approval time plus one week to get lab results will put him past the appt date. This needs to be resolved NOW! God knows how many phone calls later to all parties concerned, 3rd party referral is granted, appt is scheduled for VA lab work, & 3rd party PCP office is notified to fax orders for full panel blood work to a specific VA fax #. Get 95 y/o vet (who can barely get around) up earlier than normal, dressed and out to the VA on an empty stomach only to find out that VA hasn't received orders from PCP. Heads are going to roll when I get to the bottom of this FU. Contact PCP, explain situation & decide to have 3rd party w/ 1 day results turnaround do lab work. Go to check-up, provide copies of all VA & TriWest documents along with list of what scripts need to be faxed to provided VA pharmacy # and what scripts need to be called into local pharmacy. Everything's going smooth, right? Bring PCP's attention to cut between dad's toes - somewhat serious location/situation for a diabetic who's lost feeling in their feet. Nurse attempts to fax new script to VA for expensive, high powered antibiotic ointment and can't get thru to number provided in documents. Since it's a one time thing and we really need to start treating cut immediately, I have her call it into local pharmacy. Still don't know what kind of trouble I'm going to have on getting his other scripts filled by the VA.

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  #4  
Old 12 September 2019, 12:41
yrot yrot is offline
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Back on topic of shingles vaccine.

Called advocate this morning and left voicemail about trying to get this vaccination for the last 5 weeks. Fairly quick callback letting me know that local VA has two cases of vaccine on hand and dad can get his shot as a walk-in if I take him in this afternoon.

Don't know who at the VA has been lying to me about being out of the vaccine or why they're lying - possibly saving it for patients that currently have an assigned VA doctor, who knows?

Won't pursue the lying shit or escalate the situation provided he actually gets his vaccination. If he doesn't, all bets are off and I'm going to use the big stick to stir this pot of shit.

I really feel for vets who aren't able to navigate this crap themselves and don't have family that's a bitch who's ready, willing and able to get dirty. Hell, I feel for the vets who are able to navigate themselves simply for having to put up w/ this shit.
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Old 12 September 2019, 16:31
Lagnaippe Lagnaippe is offline
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Having been a VA medical center employee, I can tell you the patient advocates are worth getting to know. Also, never hesitate to email the medical center director directly. He/she usually helps move things along if you're not making progress doing things the "right" way. My husband is 90% disabled and he uses the email route when things get jammed up. He also stops by the advocate's office. Full disclosure, I was high up enough on the chain to get daily access to the medical center director and had a very good relationship with him and other senior leaders. To get results, you've got to get to the right people. Clinic managers, senior administrative staff...those guys and gals are the ones to know. You might also consider the police officers. Many of them are veterans and know who can help with your situation. I've seen them walk veterans to where they needed to go for help, which are usually the higher performing staff.
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  #6  
Old 12 September 2019, 16:52
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wildman43 wildman43 is offline
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I saw my V. A. Doctor Monday, he ordered the shots for me, by name, so I go get my first shot Tomorrow an then have to wait TWO months for the next & last shot. It's a TWO months wait between the first shots, an the second final shot.
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Old 12 September 2019, 17:31
yrot yrot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildman43 View Post
I saw my V. A. Doctor Monday, he ordered the shots for me, by name, so I go get my first shot Tomorrow an then have to wait TWO months for the next & last shot. It's a TWO months wait between the first shots, an the second final shot.
Per the following link, it's a 2 month minimum to 6 month maximum wait between shots.

https://www.shingrix.com/discover-shingrix.html

Per dad's PCP, the 2 dose Shingrix is a lot more effective than the 1 dose vaccine they're still using. Per phone calls I've made recently and some research, if you want to go somewhere other than the VA to get it, it's covered by Medicare Part D but not by regular Medicare. The cost can run anywhere between $200-$250 per shot.
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Old 12 September 2019, 17:33
yrot yrot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagnaippe View Post
Having been a VA medical center employee, I can tell you the patient advocates are worth getting to know. Also, never hesitate to email the medical center director directly. He/she usually helps move things along if you're not making progress doing things the "right" way. My husband is 90% disabled and he uses the email route when things get jammed up. He also stops by the advocate's office. Full disclosure, I was high up enough on the chain to get daily access to the medical center director and had a very good relationship with him and other senior leaders. To get results, you've got to get to the right people. Clinic managers, senior administrative staff...those guys and gals are the ones to know. You might also consider the police officers. Many of them are veterans and know who can help with your situation. I've seen them walk veterans to where they needed to go for help, which are usually the higher performing staff.
Thanks for the info.
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  #9  
Old 12 September 2019, 17:49
Steve40th Steve40th is offline
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I had the first shot, but its been over 6 months as there was a shortage. I will ask my Doctor about it Wed.
I hope I dont have to go through both again..
We need more advocates and knowledge, like this thread, to help us navigate through the VA..
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  #10  
Old 13 September 2019, 01:15
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wildman43 wildman43 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yrot View Post
Per the following link, it's a 2 month minimum to 6 month maximum wait between shots.

https://www.shingrix.com/discover-shingrix.html

Per dad's PCP, the 2 dose Shingrix is a lot more effective than the 1 dose vaccine they're still using. Per phone calls I've made recently and some research, if you want to go somewhere other than the VA to get it, it's covered by Medicare Part D but not by regular Medicare. The cost can run anywhere between $200-$250 per shot.
Thanks My Doctor stated two months, The V.A. has me down for two months after the first one, I am Not going to miss that appointment an get a letter or have my file state missed appointment. Again thanks for the info on up to 6 mo.
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  #11  
Old 18 September 2019, 16:02
Semp Semp is offline
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I got mine at the local health department. Cost me $19 for each shot. The VA said they didn't have it and didn't know when they would get the vaccine.
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  #12  
Old 18 September 2019, 17:58
DB8541 DB8541 is offline
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On the shot itself, for those who have had it, were there any side effects worth noting?
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  #13  
Old 18 September 2019, 21:24
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sixgun sixgun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DB8541 View Post
On the shot itself, for those who have had it, were there any side effects worth noting?
First shot made me feel like I had the flu for about 4 days...
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Old 18 September 2019, 21:39
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1RiserSlip 1RiserSlip is offline
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OK. Question. If you have already had shingles do you still need the shot?

Seriously. Cause I don't want that shit again.
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  #15  
Old 18 September 2019, 23:59
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wildman43 wildman43 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DB8541 View Post
On the shot itself, for those who have had it, were there any side effects worth noting?
I got mine today only have some soreness where I got stuck. I let you know tomorrow if things change.
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  #16  
Old 19 September 2019, 09:27
Semp Semp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1RiserSlip View Post
OK. Question. If you have already had shingles do you still need the shot?

Seriously. Cause I don't want that shit again.

The short answer is yes. It can flare up again.
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  #17  
Old 20 September 2019, 07:50
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1RiserSlip 1RiserSlip is offline
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The short answer is yes. It can flare up again.
Well fuck me. Better talk to my doc during my appointment in a couple weeks.

Thanks.
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  #18  
Old 22 September 2019, 10:59
schibbs schibbs is offline
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Originally Posted by 1RiserSlip View Post
Well fuck me. Better talk to my doc during my appointment in a couple weeks.

Thanks.
Ya man, get the new vaccine. My Ma had the old vaccine and has a flair up every so many weeks. It kicks her butt( and she is tough) , and I can't convince her to get the new vaccine.
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