The Importance of Vaccination Against Herpes Zoster
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Purpose of Review
In this review, we will discuss herpes zoster, a common, serious, and potentially vision and life-threatening preventable disease. We will also review the two available zoster vaccines and discuss the current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals and Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations regarding herpes zoster vaccination.
The incidence of herpes zoster is increasing, the age of onset is decreasing, and more complications are being reported. The zoster vaccine live (ZVL), which contains a live attenuated virus, has been CDC recommended for immunocompetent adults age 60 years and older since 2008, and FDA approved for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older since 2011. Under-usage of this vaccine remains a problem. The recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV), which contains a viral antigen in a novel adjuvant, was approved by the FDA in October 2017 for adults age 50 years and older. In January 2018, the CDC recommended this vaccine as preferred for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older, including those who have received the zoster vaccine live in the past.
Now that there are two approved and recommended vaccines against zoster, including a new one requiring a two-shot series that appears more effective, it should be a high priority for physicians, including primary care doctors, ophthalmologists, and dermatologists, as well as other health care professionals, to increase vaccination rates of adults age 50 years and older against zoster and prevent this painful and potentially devastating disease.
KeywordsHerpes zoster Shingles Vaccination Herpes zoster ophthalmicus Zoster vaccine live Zostavax HZ subunit vaccine Recombinant zoster vaccine Shingrix
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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