Talking About Vaccines with Dr. Paul Offit: News Briefs – January 2018 – New Shingles Vaccine Changes Recommendation for Adults

In this short video, Paul A. Offit, MD, discusses the benefits of a new shingles vaccine, called Shingrix®, as well as how it differs from the existing shingles vaccine.


News Briefs — New Shingles Vaccine Changes Recommendations for Adults

Paul Offit, MD: Hi, my name is Paul Offit. I’m talking to you today from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

So what I thought I'd talk about is to update things on the shingles vaccine. There's a new shingles vaccine, and I think it's worth talking about. So shingles, as you probably know, is a reawakening of a chickenpox infection that you had earlier in life. The shingles can cause pain, which can last for weeks and sometimes months, and it causes a rash. Now, there's been a shingles vaccine around since 2006. It was called Zostavax®. It was recommended for anyone over 60 years of age to be given as a single dose, and that was a live, attenuated or weakened form of the chickenpox virus. In fact, it was the same thing as the chickenpox vaccine, Varivax(R), except it was 14 times the dose.

It was about 50 percent effective in, including prolonged pain.protecting against the rash and about 75 to 80 percent effective at protecting against pain including prolonged pain.

So, now there's a new vaccine, just came out within the last few months. It's called Shingrix®. It's not the live, attenuated viral vaccine. Rather, it's just one of the proteins from the chickenpox virus called glycoprotein E, and it's mixed with two adjuvants, which is to say substances that help boost the immune response.

Unlike Zostavax, this is a vaccine that’s a two-dose vaccine given at time zero and then again two to six months later. And unlike Zostavax, which was recommended to be given beginning at 60 years of age, this vaccine is recommended to be given starting at 50 years of age, and it's a better vaccine. Instead of 50 percent efficacy against rash and 75 percent efficacy against pain, this vaccine is about 95 percent effective at preventing rash and about 95 percent effective at preventing pain, including prolonged pain. So, it's a preferred vaccine.

Even if you haven't gotten, if you haven't gotten any shingles vaccine, then this is the one to get, Shingrix. And if you've already gotten Zostavax, you should still get two doses of Shingrix vaccine.

Hope this helps. Thank you.

Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center