Current Ophthalmology Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 173–180 | Cite as

The Importance of Vaccination Against Herpes Zoster

  • Edmund Tsui
  • Elisabeth J. CohenEmail author
Ocular Microbiology and Immunology (B Jeng and L Schocket, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Ocular Microbiology and Immunology


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.

Recent Findings

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.


Herpes 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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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyNew York University School of Medicine, NYU Langone HealthNew YorkUSA

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