House Calls Questions

Jill Cottel, M.D.

Internal Medicine & Hollistic Medicine

Should my grandmother get the shingles vaccine I keep hearing about?

Answer: “This vaccine is being heavily promoted and, while I am informing my patients about its benefits and risks, I am not recommending it across the board,” says Jill Cottel, M.D., is board-certified in both internal medicine and holistic medicine.


“A study involving 38,000 individuals showed that the absolute risk reduction of the vaccine is 1.7 percent, which needs to be weighed against the risks. We don’t know if it remains effective past four years. It can’t be given to anyone who is immune-compromised or takes steroids.

“I personally believe that there are safer, more natural ways to boost your immune system, which what this vaccine does. This includes assuring that you eat well-balanced, nutritionally sound meals and that you exercise regularly and take steps to reduce stress.”