LAS VEGAS– One of the benefits of the recently approved inactivated herpes zoster is its efficacy in older adults, Kenneth J. Tomecki, MD, said in a video interview at Skin Disease Education Foundation’s annual Las Vegas Dermatology Seminar.

In addition, the vaccine will be recommended not only for healthy adults, but for ill adults aged 50 years and older, said Dr. Tomecki of the department of dermatology at the Cleveland Clinic. “Efficacy is greater than 90% for zoster and postherpetic neuralgia” with the new vaccine, he added.

Vaccination rates among eligible adults with the current vaccine, which is highly effective, are low, but ideally, the advent of the new vaccine will boost vaccination rates, especially in older adults, he noted.

The new vaccine, which will be marketed as Shingrix, was approved in October by the Food and Drug Administration for preventing herpes zoster in adults aged 50 years and older. The currently available herpes zoster vaccine, Zostavax, a live attenuated virus vaccine, was approved by the FDA in 2006.

Dr. Tomecki had no financial conflicts to disclose.

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