Zoster Vaccine: Uses, Mechanism, Dosage

Zostavax (Zoster Vaccine) is a live attenuated virus vaccine suggested for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in people 50 years and older.

Zostavax isn’t indicated for treating zoster or postherpetic neuralgia.

Zostavax shouldn’t be used for prevention of primary varicella disease (Chickenpox).

Unlike the influenza jab, you will just have to have the vaccination once and you will have it in any time of year.

The herpes zooster (shingles) vaccine is predicted to lower your chance of getting shingles.

Live attenuated zoster vaccine is available in two forms;

  • Zostavax for the avoidance of shingles at immunocompetent people within age 50
  • Varivax for preventing chickenpox in people 12 months of age and older.

Shingles can be quite uncomfortable and debilitating. Shingles can be deadly for approximately 1 in 1,000 over-70s who create it.

Zostavax was accredited by the FDA in 2006 to be used in the USA. It’s provided in 1 dose for a shot, also may be given at a physician’s office or pharmacy.

It is nice to have the shingles vaccine in case you have already had shingles. The herpes zooster (shingles) vaccine functions really good in people who have had shingles previously and it’ll enhance your immunity against additional shingles strikes.


  • Used for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in immunocompetent adults aged 50 years and older.
  • Varivax vaccine can be used for active immunization for the prevention of varicella in individuals 12 months of age and older.

Mechanism of action

Zostavax provides protection from Herpes Zoster reactivation by eliciting an immune reaction to Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV).

Varivax provides protection from chickenpox by eliciting both cell-mediated and humoral immune responses to varicella-zoster virus.

Duration of Herpes

An epidemic of shingles may last for 3 to 4 weeks. At times the pain is present but the blisters not seem. Some affected individuals develop postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), where the localized pain stays even after the rash is gone.

Don’t Use

Inform your vaccine supplier if you:

  • Someone that has had a life threatening or acute allergic reaction to gelatin, the antibiotic neomycin, or some other element of shingles vaccine.
  • Have any acute, life threatening allergies.


Some products that may interact with this vaccine such as:

  • Corticosteroids such as prednisone, dexamethasone.
  • Cancer chemotherapy Drugs that lower the immune system (such as cyclosporine, tacrolimus,
  • Certain antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir.

Side effects

The most common adverse effects are:

  • Injection site swelling,
  • Headaches
  • Itching,
  • Pain,
  • Swelling
  • Warmth,
  • Bleeding, and
  • Bruising.

Pregnancy or breastfeeding

  • Zoster vaccine isn’t employed for preventing shingles in women of child bearing age and shouldn’t be administered to pregnant women.
  • Zoster vaccine isn’t employed for preventing shingles at nursing moms.

Zoster Vaccine Dose

Subcutaneous management only. Don’t inject intravenously or intramuscularly.

Recommended Dose And Program
Administer ZOSTAVAX as one 0.65-mL dose subcutaneously from the deltoid area of the upper arm.

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