WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Shingles vaccine shows promise in test subjects age 50 and up

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has created a new vaccine that in a recent Zoster Efficacy study demonstrated the ability to reduce shingles in people 50 and older, the Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) said Wednesday.

“This candidate vaccine may offer an important option for the prevention of shingles, a painful disease that negatively impacts  health and quality of life,” GSK Vaccine Development Leader Alain Brecx said.

Greg Bennett, a CBCD representative, is equally optimistic.

“We are encouraged by the results of the GlaxoSmithKline VZV vaccine study,” Bennett said. “A vaccine that improves on the efficacy offered by Zostavax would be an important step forward. Until such a vaccine is approved, however, we recommend Novirin or Gene-Eden-VIR against the latent shingles virus.”

The Zoster Efficacy study, which started in August 2010 and was conducted with more than 16,000 adult participants age 50 and over, remains ongoing in 18 countries. Results of the study showed that during the four years of the study, the new vaccine HZ/su reduced the risk of shingles by 97.2 percent compared with a placebo.

It must be noted that completing the development and approving a vaccine through the FDA takes time. Until then, the CBCD recommends Novirin and Gene-Eden-VIR for shingles treatment.

The antiviral drugs Zovirax or Valtrex only work to shorten the time of the shingles outbreak and have been proven ineffective against the VZV virus.