Shingles vaccine offers a decade of protection in older adults

Shingrix can effectively vaccinate adults over 50 years old against shingles for at least 10 years, new data shows.

Photo of person with shingles rash on skin below left shoulder blade

GSK announced Shingrix (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted), the first approved shingles vaccine to combine a non-live antigen with a GSK-made adjuvant, can prevent shingles (herpes zoster) for at least decade.

Dr Javier Díez-Domingo, Principal Investigator for FISABIO (Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research of the Valencian Community, Spain), explained: “We can now – for the first time – confirm that the clinical benefit of the vaccine continues for at least 10 years.”

Results from a six-year follow-up study (NCT02723773) of two Phase III clinical trials, demonstrated that vaccine efficacy was 97 percent in adults age 50 years and over and 91 percent in adults 70 and above over a four-year follow-up period.

An interim analysis conducted over more than four years of long-term follow-up (LTFU) showed vaccine efficacy was 81.6 percent. From one month post-second dose in the initial studies up to year 10 post-vaccination (mean: 9.6 (±0.3) years post-vaccination), vaccine efficacy was 89 percent.

The safety profile observed in the extension study was consistent with safety data for the vaccine. The incidence of serious adverse events was consistent with the age of the study population. No deaths or other Safety Adverse Events (SAE) considered related to vaccination were observed.

The interim analysis data was presented at the US IDWeek congress in October 2022.

Researchers will continue to evaluate the long-term efficacy, immunogenicity and safety of the vaccine.

Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus (VZV) is reactivated in a patient. It is the same virus that is responsible for causing chicken pox. Shingrix combines a recombinant antigen, glycoprotein E and the adjuvant system. Findings from the clinical trials illustrate it could override a person’s natural decline in immune response as they age.

In the EU, the vaccine is available as a preventive treatment for shingles and for post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), in adults over 50 years of age in some markets.

Patients 18 and over at increased risk of shingles in the European Economic Area (EEA) can be administered with the vaccine. Shingrix is the only shingles vaccine approved for this at-risk patient population.

In the US, the vaccine is licensed to prevent shingles in adults over 50 years old and in adults over 18 with an increased risk of the condition due to immunodeficiency or immunosuppression.