I spent my 30th birthday in bed with the chicken pox. In addition to the high fever and spots that kept me in bed (when I wasn't taking Aveeno baths) for the better part of a week, I actually stayed out of work at WXYZ-TV in Detroit for a total of three weeks because the bumps all over my face made it impossible to shave. I had an ugly, scruffy beard and there was NO way I was going on TV looking like that. It was a miserable experience having chicken pox as an adult. And, at the time, it only made hitting the milestone of the big 3-0 all the worse. So, I can empathize with people who get the return of chicken pox in the form of shingles, which I've been told are much, much worse.
Recently, Merck came out with the first vaccine for shingles called Zostavax. But it had manufacturing and supply issues that hurt the launch. In its earnings press release today, Merck says as of last month it has "resumed normal shipping schedules for Zostavax."
Second-quarter sales of Zostavax in the U.S. were down 36 percent from the same time last year because of the problems. But now that they're apparently solved MRK has kicked off its branded marketing campaign for the vaccine.
There's this websiteand I've noticed big ads in "Parade" magazine over the past couple of weeks. That's the fluffy publication that typically gets inserted into Sunday papers all over the country. Both the website and the magazine ad feature graphic pictures of shingles like this one.