Now Approved: Shingrix
– Shingles occur in about 1 million people in the U.S. each year. One in three adults will experience a bout of shingles in their lifetime. One in five people with shingles develops postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, which is nerve pain that can linger for months or even years.
-The FDA approved the new shingles vaccine, recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV), Shingrix in October 2017.
-CDC recommends that Shingrix—a two-dose vaccine—be given to people starting at age 50.
-CDC also recommends that if you have already gotten Zostavax (first shingles vaccine approved in 2006), then you should now get Shingrix as well.
-Shingrix is the preferred vaccine over Zostavax.
-Those who’ve had shingles, which occasionally recurs, should also receive Shingrix.
-The new shingles vaccine contains an adjuvant, a substance that boosts the immune system’s response. This may be the reason for more effective and longer-lasting protection with Shingrix compared to Zostavax.
-Shingrix is administered in two doses 2 to 6 months apart to adults age 50 years and older with competent immune systems regardless of a history of shingles or receipt of the zoster vaccine live (ZVL; Zostavax)
-Zostavax cuts the chance of shingles by only 51 percent and the risk of PHN by 67 percent.
-The Shingrix vaccine offers 97 percent protection in people in their 50s and 60s and about 91 percent protection in those in their 70s and 80s. It reduces PHN risk by 86 percent.
-If you are 50 or over, talk to your healthcare provider regarding Shingrix vaccine and protect yourself from shingles and it’s complications.
Disclaimer: The information is intended to provide general education for patients and their families. The information provided does not constitute medical or healthcare advice for any individual and is not a substitute for medical and other professional advice and service.
Dr. Mahesh Ochaney is a solo practitioner who has been practicing Internal Medicine since 1991. Dr. Ochaney’s compassionate primary care has been recognized several times over the years, including being named a 2018 Top Doctor by Baltimore Magazine and receiving a State of Maryland Governor’s Citation.