The CDC has updated recommendations for shingles vaccination.
The CDC has updated1 its clinical considerations for the use of Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine; RZV) to help prevent shingles and related complications in immunocompromised adults aged 19 and older. The move follows the recent unanimous recommendation of the vaccine by the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for adults who are or who will be immunodeficient or immunosuppressed due to disease or therapy.
Shingles (herpes zoster; HZ) is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which initially causes chickenpox. The virus then remains inactive in the body until it reactivates decades later as shingles. It is estimated that virtually all Americans born before 1980 have had chickenpox and are consequently at risk for shingles.
According to ACIP reports2 there are approximately 7 million immunocompromised adults in the United States, including 3 million stem cell transplant recipients, patients with hematologic or solid tumor malignancies, solid organ transplant recipients, and people living with HIV. Another 22 million Americans are living with autoimmune and/or inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). All are at increased risk for developing shingles.
“Risk of herpes zoster (HZ), severe disease, and complications [is] generally higher in immunocompromised (IC) populations,” ACIP noted. “RZV can potentially address an unmet need for HZ prevention in IC populations.”
The CDC’s new clinical considerations for Shingrix and immunocompromised adults include: