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

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

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. Zostavax is generally well tolerated in older adults. [125] A zoster vaccine immunization program in older adults may be cost effective and has the potential to decrease the incidence or reduce its severity. [126, 127]


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