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New shingles vaccine approved

By Integrated Health Concepts, LLC

On October 20, 2017, the FDA approved a new shingles vaccine (also known as herpes zoster). Adults aged 50 years and older can use the vaccine, called  Shingrix.

Patients that received the older vaccine for shingles are encouraged to speak to their physician regarding revaccination with Shingrix once it becomes available.

The new vaccine’s efficacy to prevent the development of herpes zoster (HZ) at four years' follow-up was 97 percent overall in subjects older than 50 years of age, and around 90 percent in participants older than 70-years-old1. Contrast these results with the current vaccine, Zostavax. The efficacy of Zostavax to reduce the burden of illness from HZ falls from 61.1 percent at Year Four to 37.3 percent at 11 years post-vaccination1.

Adverse reactions of Shingrix reported by study participants included pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, followed by muscle pain, fatigue, headache, shivering, fever, and gastrointestinal symptoms.

Integrated Health Concepts has been in contact with multiple payers and has learned that some will add Shingrix to their preventive drug list immediately, meaning $0 member copay, as Zostavax is now, while others will follow the ACA regulations and not add Shingrix until one year after publication in the Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

Let Plexus lend a hand

Have questions regarding this newsletter or or other employee benefits matters? Contact a Plexus client service team representative in Deer Park, Ill. (847.307.6100), Chicago (312.606.4800), Dallas (972.770.5010), or Oklahoma City (405.840.3033). We’re here to help – and we’re happy to help.

Publishing credit: Content provided by Integrated Health Concepts, LLC, a pharmacy consultant for The Plexus Groupe. 


1. [Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017 Aug 3;13(8):1789-1797. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2017.1317410. Epub 2017 Apr 20.]

2. [Package Insert Accessed 10/31/17 via website.]