Panel Recommends New Zoster Vaccine as First-Line Treatment

Advisory committee says Shingrix vaccine should be given to adults aged 50 and older

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THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- In a close 8-7 vote, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that Shingrix be chosen over Zostavax as the herpes zoster vaccine of choice in adults aged 50 and older, the Washington Post reported.

Previously, vaccination had been recommended only for those aged 60 and older. The panel went even further and recommended that anyone who has been vaccinated with the Zostavax vaccine be re-vaccinated with the Shingrix vaccine, the Post reported. In total, more than 40 million people will be affected by the new recommendations, the newspaper said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had just approved Shingrix last Friday based on a study from its maker, GlaxoSmithKline. That research found Shingrix protected about 90 percent of patients, but Zostavax protected only 50 percent of patients. Shingrix requires two shots, while Zostavax requires only one shot.

"This represents a major advance for people who want to be protected against the disease and its complications," Kathleen Dooling, M.D., M.P.H., a medical officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Post.

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