Efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of herpes zoster vaccines in adults aged 50 and older

Investigators in Canada compared the safety and efficacy of live attenuated and adjuvant recombinant subunit vaccines for herpes zoster, or shingles, in patients aged 50 years and older. They examined data from 27 studies with more than 2 million patients as part of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Investigators in Canada compared the safety and efficacy of live attenuated and adjuvant recombinant subunit vaccines for herpes zoster, or shingles, in patients aged 50 years and older. They examined data from 27 studies with more than 2 million patients as part of a systematic review and meta-analysis. While inconclusive, the evidence suggests that the newer adjuvant recombinant subunit vaccine likely prevents more cases of shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia than both the live attenuated formulation or placebo—which were reported by five randomized controlled studies to have similar efficacy. The research also found, however, that patients receiving the adjuvant recombinant subunit vaccine are more prone to adverse events at the injection site, including redness and swelling.