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Shingles, a painful skin rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus, poses a risk to adults over 50. Fortunately, there are vaccines available to prevent it, one of which is Shingrix®.

Shingrix® stands out as a recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) containing a varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein E antigen and the AS01B adjuvant system. Despite its technical makeup, its primary purpose is to thwart shingles and their associated pain.

Research indicates that Shingrix® is effective. In trials involving individuals aged 50 and above, it significantly decreased the risk of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a painful condition that may follow shingles. Notably, its protective efficacy remained robust even after four years, particularly in adults aged 70 and older.

Concerns about side effects may arise, but the reality is manageable. Shingrix® may induce reactions such as soreness at the injection site, muscle aches, and fatigue. Encouragingly, these reactions are predominantly mild and temporary.

An additional benefit is that Shingrix® is suitable for individuals with weakened immune systems, a distinction from certain other vaccines. In the United States and Canada, it is the preferred choice for those with a competent immune system.

Shingrix® emerges as a highly effective and well-tolerated vaccine, offering substantial protection against shingles and PHN for adults aged 50 and above. Individuals in this age group are advised to consult their healthcare providers about securing this preventative measure.

For Shingrix, a 2-dose schedule is recommended, 2–6 months apart, for people who are immunocompetent. For people who are immunocompromised, 2 doses of Shingrix are recommended at an interval of 1–2 months. Shingrix is funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for all adults aged ≥65 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥50 years and selected groups aged ≥18 years with severe immunocompromise.

Please, see your GP to get vaccinated against shingles.


Australian Immunisation Book, https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/contents/vaccine-preventable-diseases/zoster-herpes-zoster . Last accessed 14.11.23

Syed YY. Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (Shingrix®): A Review in Herpes Zoster. Drugs Aging. 2018 Dec;35(12):1031-1040. doi: 10.1007/s40266-018-0603-x. PMID: 30370455.

Conflict of interest statement:

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest associated with the information presented in the above article on vaccines against shingles. The content is provided solely for informational purposes, without any external influence or financial interests that could compromise the objectivity and accuracy of the information provided. The aim is to offer clear and unbiased insights into the subject matter for the benefit of the reader.

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