What is the efficacy of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine (Varivax) in the preventions of herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Since 1995, live attenuated VZV vaccine (Varivax) has been available in the United States and has been up to 99% effective in protecting susceptible individuals from varicella infection. The higher-potency live attenuated VZV vaccine introduced in 2005 (Zostavax) has demonstrated a reduction in the incidence rate of 51.3% during 3 years of follow-up in one study. [122]

The routine use of the live attenuated varicella vaccine has led to a remarkable reduction in the incidence of primary varicella infection. Furthermore, vaccinated children have demonstrated lower rates of herpes zoster than those infected through natural exposure to VZV. [123, 124] However, the effect of childhood vaccination on the incidence of herpes zoster in adult populations remains to be fully elucidated.


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