Fast Five Quiz: Herpes Zoster Risk Factors and Prevention

Ranjani Somayaji, MD


February 04, 2022

In clinical trials, the recombinant zoster vaccine exhibited over 90% efficacy after 3.2 years in persons 50 years or older and nearly 90% efficacy after 3.7 years in those 70 years or older. It has since become the preferred vaccine for herpes zoster and is administered as a two-dose series. It can be administered simultaneously with other vaccines for people 50 years or older.

Since approval, trials of the recombinant zoster vaccine have demonstrated efficacy in persons aged 50 or older with immune compromise and can be considered on a case-by-case basis weighing benefits and risks. Recombinant zoster vaccine can be given to individuals taking low-dose immunosuppressive therapy or who have recovered from an immunocompromising illness. For patients who are starting immunosuppressant treatments, the recombinant zoster vaccine should be given at least 14 days before the initiation of this therapy.

A history of herpes zoster is not a contraindication for the recombinant zoster vaccine. Persons can receive the recombinant herpes zoster vaccine 5 years or more following receipt of the live attenuated vaccine.

Learn more about herpes zoster vaccination.

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