Shingles, a painful skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, is a concern for adults over 50. Thankfully, there are vaccines to prevent it, with Shingrix® being one of them.
Shingrix® is a standout recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) that includes a varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein E antigen and the AS01B adjuvant system. Despite its technical components, its main goal is to prevent shingles and the associated pain.
Research suggests that Shingrix® is effective. In trials with individuals aged 50 and above, it significantly reduced the risk of shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a painful condition that may follow shingles. Impressively, its protective effects remained strong even after four years, especially in adults aged 70 and older.
While concerns about side effects may arise, the reality is manageable. Shingrix® may cause reactions like soreness at the injection site, muscle aches, and fatigue. Importantly, these reactions are mostly mild and temporary.
Another benefit is that Shingrix® is suitable for individuals with weakened immune systems, setting it apart from some other vaccines. In the United States and Canada, it is the preferred choice for those with a healthy immune system.
To sum up, Shingrix® is a highly effective and well-tolerated vaccine, providing substantial protection against shingles and PHN for adults aged 50 and above. If you’re in this age group, consulting your healthcare provider about this preventive measure is advisable.
Syed YY. Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (Shingrix®): A Review in Herpes Zoster. Drugs Aging. 2018 Dec;35(12):1031-1040. doi: 10.1007/s40266-018-0603-x. PMID: 30370455.