Bethany A. Weaver. Update on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' Recommendations for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2011;111(10_suppl_6):S31–S33. doi: .
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A live attenuated vaccine to prevent herpes zoster, or shingles (Zostavax; Merck & Co Inc, Whitehouse Station, NJ), is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in adults aged 50 years or older. Studies show that this vaccine is safe when administered to immunocompetent adults. Investigations are being conducted to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of the vaccine in immunocompromised populations, including patients who are dependent on steroids. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that this vaccine be routinely administered only to patients aged 60 years or older. As more data regarding duration of immunity after vaccination become available and as concerns regarding supply of this vaccine are adequately addressed, the ACIP plans to reconsider its recommendations regarding its use in patients aged 50 to 59 years. The author provides an overview of the herpes zoster vaccine, focusing on the latest extension in use approved by the FDA and the recommendations of the ACIP.
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