US Pharm
. 2011;36(4):8. 

Whitehouse Station, NJ
Merck has announced that the vaccine Zostavax is now approved for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in individuals 50 to 59 years old. Results from a large clinical study showed that the vaccine significantly reduced the risk of developing shingles by approximately 70% in this age group, compared to placebo. Zostavax was previously indicated for use in adults 60 years and older. According to the CDC, there are about 1 million cases of shingles each year, with 1 in 3 people experiencing the condition in their lifetime. “This expanded indication is important for the health of people who are 50 and older because nearly everyone in that age group is at risk for developing shingles,” stated Jeffrey Silber, MD, vice president, Merck Research Laboratories. 

To comment on this article, contact