The Centers for Disease Control, CDC, accepted in full and promulgated on its website three recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, (ACIP).

 ·      Shingrix "non-live" vaccine developed by GSK is recommended for the prevention of shingles, Herpes Zoster (HZ), for immuno-competent adults aged 50 years and older.

 ·      Shingrix "non-live" vaccine is recommended for the prevention of shingles for immuno-competent adults who previously received Zostavax "live" vaccine developed by Merck.

 ·      Shingrix "non-live" vaccine is preferred over Zostavax "live" vaccine for the prevention of shingles.

(Click HERE to go to the site to read the official text.)


NYTimes - No Excuses, People: Get the New Shingles Vaccine

FiercePharma - GlaxoSmithKline Limits Shingrix Orders, Delays TV Commercials Amid 'Unprecedented' Demand

FiercePharma - Doctors Worry Shingrix Side Effects Will Put Patients Off Their Second Dose

U.S. News - A New Shingles Vaccine: Prepare for Harsher Side Effects

FiercePharma - GlaxoSmithKline boosted Shingrix Educational Efforts After Seeing Administration, Storage Errors in Launch

AARP – The New “Super Vaccine” For Shingles

NYTimes - Why You Should Get the Shingles Vaccine

NY Post -  Everyone Over 50 Should Get This Vaccine


(1) What is Shingrix?

Shingrix is an FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in adults 50 years and older. Shingrix is not used to prevent chickenpox. Shingles is an itchy and painful skin rash caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus [the same virus still in your body from childhood chickenpox]. GSK’s Shingrix uses your body’s own immune cells to boost your immune system’s defenses against shingles. It is the only shingles vaccine proven to be up to 90% effective in clinical trials. [1]

(2) If I feel healthy am I really at risk for shingles?

If you’re one of the more than 95% of adults over 50 years old who have had chickenpox, the virus that causes shingles is inside your body and can reactivate at any time. One in every three people in the US will get shingles in their lifetime. No matter how healthy you feel, your immune system declines as you age, and that puts you at an increased risk for shingles. [1]

(3) What protection against shingles does Shingrix provide?

Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, says this vaccine has spectacular initial protection rates in every age group. The immune system of a 70 or 80 year-old responds to Shingrix as if the person were only 25 or 30 years-old; thus protecting nearly as well in older groups as in the middle-aged. Shingrix racked up a 97% effectiveness rate in adults over age 50 and, in a separate study of people over age 70, prevented 90% of shingles in those 70 to well past age 80. [2]

(Click HERE to read more Shingrix Vaccine FAQs)


(1) What is shingles and how is it caused?

Shingles is an often-painful outbreak of rash or blisters on the skin. It is caused by a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.

(2) What causes the varicella-zoster virus to reactivate?

Scientists do not know exactly what triggers a reemergence of the varicella-zoster virus. However, scientists do know that it more commonly occurs in people over age 50, and in those who have a weakened immune system brought on by an illness such as cancer and certain medical treatments such as chemotherapy.

(3) Who can get shingles?

Anyone who has had chickenpox can get shingles, although it is most common in individuals over the age of 50. Individuals who have conditions, or are undergoing medical treatments, that weaken their immune systems are also more likely to develop shingles. These include: HIV infection; chemotherapy or radiation therapy; corticosteroids; transplant operations and possibly stress. National Shingles Foundation estimates that nearly one million individuals develop shingles in the U.S. each year.

(Click HERE to read more Shingles, PHN & Chickenpox FAQs)