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Boomers Should Consider Shingles Vaccine, Physician Says

Posted 5 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 5, 2014 – People older than 50 can reduce their risk for developing shingles by being vaccinated against the varicella-zoster virus that causes the painful condition, an expert says. "People who have had shingles previously can still receive the vaccine called Zostavax. If you are above the age of 50 years old, you should talk to your health care provider about the shingles vaccines," advised Dr. Khalilah Babino, immediate care physician at Loyola University Health System. Shingles is caused by the same virus responsible for chicken pox. Most people who get shingles are older than 50 because the virus can remain dormant in the body for years before being activated again, according to background information in a university news release. People at particularly high risk for developing shingles include those who've had chicken pox and those with cancer, autoimmune ... Read more

Related support groups: Zostavax, Varicella Virus Vaccine, Varivax, Varicella-Zoster - Prophylaxis, Zoster Vaccine Live

Few U.S. Seniors Take Advantage of Shingles Vaccine

Posted 9 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 9 – The shingles vaccine is effective but few American seniors get it, according to a new study. Shingles is a painful skin and nerve infection that occurs when the chickenpox virus is reactivated in older adults who had chickenpox as children. The vaccine helps prevent reactivation of the virus. Researchers led by Sinead Langan from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined data collected from more than 766,000 Medicare beneficiaries between 2007 and 2009, and found that the vaccine reduced the rate of shingles by 48 percent overall. However, the vaccine was less effective in seniors with weakened immune systems, according to the report published April 9 in the journal PLoS Medicine. The vaccine reduced the rate of a painful shingles-related complication called post-herpetic neuralgia by 59 percent, the investigators found. Despite its effectiveness, ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis, Zoster Vaccine Live

Untreated Depression May Cut Shingles Vaccine Effectiveness

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Doctors often urge older patients to get the shingles vaccine because it can prevent or cut the severity of this viral disease. But according to a new study, the vaccine may be less effective in people with untreated depression. Based on their findings, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, suggested the diagnosis and treatment of depression in older people could increase the effectiveness of the shingles vaccine and reduce the risks associated with this painful skin condition. Shingles – marked by an inflamed rash – is caused by the reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. The study involved 40 people age 60 or older who were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. Over the course of two years, the researchers examined the immune response of these patients to the shingles vaccine and compared them to 52 people who were the same ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live

Banning Vaccine Preservative Would Hurt Kids in Poor Nations: Experts

Posted 17 Dec 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 17 – A United Nations proposal to ban the vaccine preservative thimerosal – which contains a form of mercury – should not go through, says a leading group of U.S. pediatricians. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joins the World Health Organization (WHO) in urging the U.N. to drop the proposal from an international treaty seeking to cut down on mercury exposures in a variety of ways. Both the WHO and AAP say a thimerosal ban could keep children in poor nations from getting needed vaccines. The AAP, which announced its stance to members in June, reiterates its position and provides three commentaries on the issue in the January print edition of Pediatrics, published online Dec. 17. Thimerosal contains a form of mercury called ethyl mercury. For years it was used in certain vaccines, but U.S. health officials decided in 1999 that thimerosal should be removed from ... Read more

Related support groups: BCG, Zostavax, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Gardasil, Tetanus Toxoid, Vivotif Berna, FluLaval, Rabies Vaccine, Human Diploid Cell, Twinrix, Typhoid Vaccine, Live, Hepatitis B Adult Vaccine, Afluria, Vivotif Berna Vaccine, Measles Virus Vaccine, Ixiaro, Cervarix, Fluzone, Menactra, Typhoid Vaccine, Inactivated, Varicella Virus Vaccine

Shingles Vaccine Safe for Those With Autoimmune Diseases: Study

Posted 3 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 3 – For those suffering from the chronic skin disorder psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases, a new study finds the shingles vaccine appears to be both safe and effective. It had been thought the vaccine might boost the risk of developing shingles in these patients, the researchers explained. "The findings are reassuring for a very specific group of patients," said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an attending physician in infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., who was not involved in the study. "Patients who have weak immune systems are vulnerable to getting shingles and the shingles vaccine is a live vaccine," he added. The study looked at patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (an inflammation of the spine), or inflammatory bowel disease. The risk is that patients with these conditions are ... Read more

Related support groups: Psoriasis, Autoimmune Disorders, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live

Little Short-Term Risk of Repeat Bout of Shingles, Study Finds

Posted 5 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 5 – Older people who've had shingles have a relatively low short-term risk of developing the painful skin condition again, a new study says. The findings indicate that there is no urgent need for these patients to get vaccinated in order to prevent a second shingles episode, according to the researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. They reviewed the health records and monitored recurrence of shingles among more than 6,000 patients, 60 and older. During an average two years of follow-up, there were fewer than 30 cases of recurrent shingles and little difference in the rate of recurrence among vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, 19 vs. 24 per 10,000 people. The study was published online June 5 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. "This study's findings are important because we found that the risk of having a recurrent shingles episode is not as high as ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live

Shingles Vaccine Safe, Underutilized, Study Says

Posted 23 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 23 – The shingles vaccine is generally safe and well tolerated by patients, according to a new study. Shingles, which affects more than 1 million people each year in the United States, is a painful contagious rash caused by the dormant chickenpox virus, which can reactivate and replicate, damaging the nervous system. Elderly people are especially at risk because immunity against the virus that causes shingles declines with age. In this study, researchers looked at data from more than 193,000 adults 50 and older who received the shingles vaccine, also known as the herpes zoster vaccine, over two years. There was a small increased risk of local reactions (redness and pain) from one to seven days after vaccination. This finding matches the results of clinical trials. The shingles vaccine did not increase the risk for cerebrovascular diseases; cardiovascular diseases; ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis, Zoster Vaccine Live

Too Few American Adults Getting Needed Vaccinations: CDC

Posted 2 Feb 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 – Each year, some 45,000 Americans die from diseases that could have been prevented by vaccines, health officials said Thursday. Despite this, the number of American adults who get needed vaccines remains low, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "There were some modest increases in coverage, but for very few vaccines," said Dr. Carolyn B. Bridges, associate director of adult immunization at the CDC and co-author of the report. "Coverage is much lower than we would like to see it." The data was published in the Feb. 3 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. According to the report, 2010 (the latest year covered by the report) saw only a small increase in the rate of uptake for just three vaccines. The rate of the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination increased 1.6 percent, to 8.2 percent. Tdap ... Read more

Related support groups: BCG, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Zostavax, Gardasil, Tetanus Toxoid, Vivotif Berna, FluLaval, Rabies Vaccine, Human Diploid Cell, Hepatitis B Adult Vaccine, Afluria, Typhoid Vaccine, Live, Vivotif Berna Vaccine, Fluzone, Rotarix, Smallpox Vaccine, Menactra, Tice BCG, Ixiaro, Measles Virus Vaccine, Typhoid Vaccine, Inactivated

Health Tip: Getting the Shingles Vaccine

Posted 5 Oct 2011 by Drugs.com

-- The Zostavax vaccine helps protect against shingles, a painful infection caused by herpes zoster, the same virus that causes chickenpox. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these guidelines for getting the shingles vaccine: Who should get the vaccine: Anyone who is 60 or older, whether or not they can recall having had chickenpox as a child. Researchers have found that more than 99 percent of Americans 40 and older have had chickenpox, even if they don't remember being sick. Who should NOT get the vaccine: Anyone who has ever had a serious reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or any other ingredient in the shingles vaccine. Speak with your doctor if you have any severe allergies. Anyone with a weakened immune system should speak with their doctor before getting the vaccine. Anyone taking immune-suppressing drugs or undergoing chemotherapy or ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax

Vaccinations Aren't Just for Kids

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Public health experts often focus immunization awareness efforts toward protecting children, and with good reason: Facing a potentially bewildering schedule of vaccinations for their young ones, parents usually need all the help they can get. But vaccinations aren't just kid stuff. Medical science is creating an increasing number of immunizations targeted at adults, to help them avoid life-threatening diseases in middle-age and opportunistic infections when they're older. "Immunization is a life-long issue that we need to pay a lot of attention to," said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Some adult vaccinations are very well-known, like the annual shot that aims to prevent the spread of influenza. "You need an influenza shot every year," Benjamin said. "Part of that is because the virus changes every year, ... Read more

Related support groups: Pneumonia, Meningitis, BCG, Tetanus, Zostavax, Yellow Fever Vaccine, Gardasil, Condylomata Acuminata, Cervical Cancer, Varicella-Zoster, Tetanus Toxoid, Human Papilloma Virus, Measles, Tuberculosis - Prophylaxis, Vivotif Berna, FluLaval, Twinrix, Pneumovax 23, Rabies Vaccine, Human Diploid Cell, Provenge

Fear Proves Prime Motivator for Vaccinations

Posted 16 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 16 – Sometimes a little fear might be a good thing. To run an effective public vaccination program, you've got to make sure that adequate amounts of the vaccine are available and there are enough staff members to administer it, said Dr. Adewale Troutman, director of the public health practice program at the University of South Florida, who, until recently, headed the Department of Public Health and Wellness in Louisville. You also have to figure out when the public will be available to come get the vaccinations you offer. And, of course, you need to make sure they are properly frightened. Fear has proven to be the most potent motivator in getting people to not shrug off important immunizations, like an annual flu shot, Troutman said. "The influenza vaccine is really an important immunization that people discount because, ehh, it's just the flu," he said. "But tens of ... Read more

Related support groups: Influenza, Herpes Zoster, Swine Influenza, Zostavax, FluLaval, Afluria, Fluzone, FluMist, Fluarix, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Inactivated, Flushield, Influenza Prophylaxis, Fluvirin, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis, Fluzone PFS, Fluzone SV, Zoster Vaccine Live, Agriflu, Fluzone Preservative-Free, Influenza Virus Vaccine, Live, Trivalent

U.S. Shingles Vaccine Approval Expanded

Posted 26 Mar 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 24 – The Zostavax shingles vaccine is now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people aged 50 and older. FDA-sanctioned use of the vaccine, first approved in 2006, had been limited to people 60 and older. The expanded approval includes the about 200,000 people aged 50 to 59 who contract shingles each year, the agency said in a news release. Shingles is caused by the same varicella-zoster virus that caused chickenpox when the affected people were younger. The virus lies dormant in the body until years later, when for reasons that aren't understood, it re-emerges as shingles – commonly in older people with weakened immune systems. Shingles is characterized by a painful blistery rash, often on one side of the body. In some people, the severe pain can last for months or years after shingles emerges, the FDA said. The vaccine was clinically evaluated in ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Shingles Vaccine Associated With 55 Percent Reduced Risk of Disease

Posted 12 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

Kaiser Permanente Research Strengthens National Recommendations PASADENA, Calif., Jan. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Receiving the herpes zoster vaccine was associated with a 55 percent reduced risk of developing shingles, according to a Kaiser Permanente study of 300,000 people that appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. This retrospective study observed the outcomes of the effectiveness of the herpes zoster vaccine in a large, diverse population of men and women ages 60 years and older. Researchers found a significant reduced risk of shingles across all sub-groups – those who are healthy as well as those with chronic conditions including diabetes or heart, lung or kidney diseases. These study findings differ from the clinical trial of the vaccine, which observed its effectiveness on 38,000 participants 60 years of age and older and found it less ... Read more

Related support groups: Zostavax, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

Vaccine For Shingles Ailment Effective -- And Seldom Used, Study Says

Posted 12 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

Vaccine For Shingles Ailment Effective – And Seldom Used, Study Says [The Miami Herald] From Miami Herald (FL) (January 12, 2011) Jan. 12--Jeffrey Dorn is an amateur gardener, so at first he thought the blisters on his left thigh were caused by fire ant bites. But when the blisters became "much, much, much" worse, he stopped applying Calamine lotion and saw his doctor. He had shingles, a painful disease that attacks mostly people older than 50. "It was horrendous," he said. "Like someone holding a match to your skin in 48 places, 24 hours a day." For Dorn, a 69-year-old retired Xerox exec from Miami, the disease waned after eight weeks of "industrial-strength" prescription pain killers. For some, it can become chronic for years, even causing eye problems and, rarely, blindness. But a new national study says people who get a little-known shingles vaccination can cut their risk of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Zostavax

Shingles Vaccine Looks Like a Safe Bet for Seniors: Study

Posted 11 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 11 – Jane Adrian, 61, a landscape architect in Glendale, Calif., saw her parents and two co-workers suffer from the painful, blistering condition known as shingles, so when the vaccine became available, she got it. Even though the vaccine is only about 55 percent effective, "it's better than nothing," she said. "Now I feel relieved." A study of a cross-section of adults enrolled with a health-management organization in southern California shows that the vaccine provides protection for many older adults without many side effects. The findings are published in the Jan. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Shingles is caused by the herpes zoster virus and only strikes people who have had chicken pox. It usually starts as a rash on one side of the face or body, often causing pain, itching and tingling. About a million cases occur in the United States ... Read more

Related support groups: Herpes Zoster, Zostavax, Herpes Zoster - Prophylaxis

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