There’s a new shingles vaccine

Shingrix shingles vaccine
(Photo: GlaxoSmithKline)

The Food and Drug Administration has just approved a new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, reports the Washington Post. It is said to provide much greater protection than Zostavax, the shingles vaccine that was approved a decade ago.

The FDA is recommending the vaccine for those age 50 and older, including those who may previously have gotten the Zostavax vaccine. The FDA’s advisory panel voted just 8-7 for approval, but because the vaccine is so much more effective than its predecessor, the Centers for Disease Control is expected to endorse the vaccine by early next year.

For more details, see the Washington Post’s “Expert panel recommends new shingles vaccine that gives increased protection.”

I got the Zostavax vaccine in 2011Β and, having had a mild case of shingles many years earlier, urged everyone to do the same. Trust me, you do not want to get shingles. I will be asking my doctor about this new vaccine and, assuming she approves, intend to get it as soon as it becomes available.

I repeat: You do not want to get shingles. If you’re over 50, make it a point to ask your doctor about the new vaccine.

21 thoughts on “There’s a new shingles vaccine

        1. Wikipedia says “The common name for the disease, shingles, derives from the Latin cingulus, a variant of Latin cingulum meaning ‘girdle,'” which describes the area of the body where the blisters most often appear.

  1. Seriously though, I noticed that at my doctors surgery, there was a notice on the board for injections for shingles, as Nurse Percy never mentioned it whilst shoving her dirty great needle painlessly into my arm I never thought more about it.

    I shall ask next time I visit the surgery.

    1. I got the older vaccine about 6 years ago, but apparently this one is a lot better and they are recommending it even to those of us who got the old vaccine. But sounds like it will be at least next year before it’s available.

  2. Thanks for this info PT, I was not aware. Like many of you I have had the other shingles vaccine also. And like you, back in 2003 I had a really memorable case of the shingles. It’s hard to emphasize enough that this is one nasty and miserable disease. Thanks again…

  3. I did ask my doctor yesterday and he said: First: The new vaccine is very difficult to get right now and Second: Significant side effects have been recorded. He suggested I wait until next year when some of the early dust has settled. I suppose this takes into account that I’ve had the Zostavax already.

    1. Good to know what a doctor thinks. I forgot to ask my doctor about it when I saw her earlier this week. But I’d already planned to wait at least till the CDC gives its go-ahead next year (if, in fact, it does). I did read somewhere that the Zostavax loses effectiveness over time, so mine is probably in its waning years.

... and that's my two cents