What is the efficacy of vaccination against herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Feb 11, 2021
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

The routine use of the live attenuated varicella vaccine has led to a remarkable reduction in the incidence of primary varicella infection. Prevention or attenuation is particularly desirable in older patients because zoster is more frequent and is associated with more complications in older populations and because declining cell-mediated immunity in older age groups is associated with an increased risk of zoster.

Vaccines include the following:

  • Varivax
  • Zostavax
  • Shingrix

The CDC recommends administration of varicella-zoster immune globulin to prevent or modify clinical illness in persons with exposure to varicella or herpes zoster who are susceptible or immunocompromised.


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