A new study should allay concerns by pharmacists and other healthcare professionals in co-administering the adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).

A report in the journal Vaccine describes a study evaluating immunogenicity and safety of RZV when the first dose was co-administered with PPSV23 in adults age 50 years and older.

The industry-sponsored open label, multicenter study randomized participants 1:1 to be in either the “co-ad” group, in whom the first dose of RZV and PPSV23 was co-administered at Day 0 and the second dose of RZV at Month 2; or the “control” group, in whom PPSV23 was administered alone at Day 0, with the first dose of RZV at Month 2 and the second dose of RZV at Month 4.

The GlaxoSmithKline researchers defined the coprimary objectives as RZV vaccine response rate (VRR) in the co-ad group and the noninferiority of the antibody responses to RZV and PPSV23 in the co-ad group versus the control group. The study team also assessed reactogenicity and safety.

Overall, 865 participants were vaccinated—432 in the co-ad group and 433 in the control group.

Results indicate that VRRs to RZV were greater than 98% in both groups. Researchers also reported that humoral immune responses to coadministration of RZV and PPSV23 were noninferior to sequential administration, with all three coprimary immunogenicity objectives met.

In addition, solicited local symptoms after the first RZV dose were reported by similar percentages of participants in both groups. While reports were more frequently made when the first dose of RZV and PPSV23 were coadministered, no differences were documented between groups after the second RZV dose, the study notes.

“No immunologic interference was observed between RZV and PPSV23 when co-administered in adults ≥50 years,” study authors conclude. “No safety concerns were raised.”

The CDC recommends recombinant zoster vaccine, Shingrix, as preferred over zoster vaccine live, Zostavax, for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications. The CDC recommends two doses of Shingrix separated by 2 to 6 months for immunocompetent adults age 50 years and older.