In late October 2017, the US FDA granted approval to GlaxoSmithKline for its shingles vaccine Shingrix, for adults age 50 and older. Shingrix now stands to supplant Zostavax (Merck), the current and only vaccine against herpes zoster. Zostavax was a breakthrough in immunization when approved in 2006 and recommended for all adults age 60 years and older; concerns have multiplied, however, over the tendency for the vaccine’s protection to wane, leaving older adults with their own waning immunity at even greater risk for the disease and its potential sequelae.
There will be plenty of news to follow as the new vaccine becomes available. To start you thinking about herpes zoster in general and both the current and future vaccines, take this quick 5-question quiz. Good luck.
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3. GlaxoSmithKline. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends Shingrix as the preferred vaccine for the prevention of shingles for adults aged 50 and up. October 25, 2017. Accessed October 27, 2017 at: https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/media/press-releases/cdc-s-advisory-committee-on-immunization-practices-recommends-shingrix-as-the-preferred-vaccine-for-the-prevention-of-shingles-for-adults-aged-50-and-up/
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9. Shingrix [package insert]. Research Triangle Park, NC: GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals; 2017.