How Effective is Shingles Vaccine?
According to the CDC, the vaccine reduced shingles by about half (51%) in adults 60 years and older.1 The manufacturer product insert states: “Vaccination with Zostavax does not result in protection of all vaccine recipients. The duration of protection beyond 4 years after vaccination with Zostavax is unknown. The need for revaccination has not been defined.”2 However, efficacy studies showed a significant decrease in vaccine effectiveness one-year post-vaccination and by nine years, Zostavax was determined to be no longer effective at preventing shingles.3
Shingrix vaccine is estimated to reduce shingles by over 90% in adults 50 years and older.4 The length of protection from Shingrix past 4 years is unknown.5
IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Shingles and the Shingles vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.
« Return to Vaccines & Diseases Table of Contents
1 CDC Vaccines and Preventable Diseases – What Everyone Should Know about Zostavax. Revised Jan. 25, 2018
2 FDA. Zostavax (Frozen). Product Information Sheet. Mar. 21, 2018
3 CDC. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. MMWR Jan 26, 2018; 67(3);103–108
4 CDC. Shingles (Herpes Zoster) – Shingles Home – For Health Care Professionals – Vaccination. Revised Feb. 21. 2018
5 CDC. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. MMWR Jan 26, 2018; 67(3);103–108