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Vaccination

 

On October 20, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) licensed Shingrix® for adults aged 50 years and older to prevent shingles.

On October 25, 2017, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted that Shingrix® is:

  • recommended for healthy adults aged 50 years and older to prevent shingles and related complications
  • recommended for adults who previously received the current shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) to prevent shingles and related complications
  • the preferred vaccine for preventing shingles and related complications

 
Once approved by the CDC director, these ACIP recommendations will be published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. At that time, the recommendations will become official policy.

Shingles is a painful rash that usually develops on one side of the body, often the face or torso. The rash consists of blisters that typically scab over in 7 to 10 days and clears up within 2 to 4 weeks. For some people the pain can last for months or even years after the rash goes away. This long-lasting pain is called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), and it is the most common complication of shingles. Your risk of shingles and PHN increases as you get older.

Zostavax® was licensed by the FDA in 2006. This vaccine reduces the risk of developing shingles by 51% and PHN by 67%. It is given in one dose as a shot, and can be given in a doctor’s office or pharmacy.

Doctor vaccinating senior woman

CDC recommends shingles vaccine for people age 60 years and older. Even people who have had shingles can receive the vaccine to help prevent future occurrences of the disease.

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