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Systematic review
Vaccination of older adults against herpes zoster is safe and effective
  1. Stephen K Tyring
  1. Department of Dermatology, University of Texas, Houston, Texas, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Stephen K Tyring
    Department of Dermatology, University of Texas, 451 North Texas Ave, Houston, TX 77598, USA; styring{at}

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The problem addressed by this study is that older individuals, for example, those over 60 years of age, are more likely to develop herpes zoster (HZ) than younger people. Older adults are far more likely to develop severe complications of HZ, especially postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).


Gagliardi and colleagues reviewed eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving 52 269 participants.


By focusing on RCTs and assessing the risk of bias in these studies, the authors concluded that vaccination against HZ is safe and effective. The risk of HZ was less compared to placebo: risk ratio (RR) 0.49 (95% CI 0.43 to 0.56), with a …

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  • Competing interests SKT has worked on clinical trials that have been sponsored by the manufacturer of Zostavax, Merck.