New Shingles Vaccine is Available
Approved by the FDA in October 2017, the new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, has shown remarkable protection rates in every age group over 50. Whereas the prior vaccine, Zostavax, prevented only about half of shingles cases in those over age 60 with declining efficacy as people age, Shingrix has been shown to prevent over 90% of cases with longer-lasting effect.
While the old vaccine will remain on the market, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to make Shingrix the preferred vaccine and recommended it for all adults over age 50 – a group younger by a decade than those earlier encouraged to get Zostavax. The recommendation includes those who have already received Zostavax, as long as the first dose of Shingrix is spread out at least 8 weeks from the prior Zostavax dose.
Shingrix is a 2-part vaccine series, given 2 to 6 months apart. It should be covered by most insurance by early 2018. We do have some in stock now for those who wish to pay out of pocket, and we will keep you informed as to insurance reimbursement decisions, which are anticipated to occur quickly in 2018. Read more about Shingrix here. (January 2018)
Dr. Jennifer Abrams