SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2016

Shingles vaccine may protect end-stage renal disease patients

Typically, health professionals recommend the shingles vaccine for people who are 60 and older. | File photo
A recent study conducted by Kaiser Permanente discovered that elderly people who have end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are 50 percent less likely to have shingles after receiving the shingles vaccine than people without ESRD.

This discovery, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, is important for understanding more about the efficiency and safety of the shingles vaccine, which is typically administered to elderly adults.

"Previously the shingles vaccine was not widely given to patients on dialysis due to concerns of possible side effects and questions regarding its efficacy,” Hung Fu Tseng, the study's lead author, said. “Our study offers new real-world data to support the Centers for Disease Control's recommendation that elderly patients with chronic renal failure receive the shingles vaccine, if medically eligible.”

Typically, health professionals recommend the shingles vaccine for people who are 60 and older. Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is from the varicella zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, and gives people painful skin rashes.

The study results demonstrated that the patients who received the most protection from the shingles vaccine received the shot after they started dialysis; when people develop ESRD, their kidneys no longer work. This means that patients must accept either an organ transplant or dialysis to continue living. Typically, ESRD patients have higher risks of contracting a wide range of infections and are 72 percent more likely to develop shingles.

Organizations in this story

Kaiser Permanente 3250 Fordham St San Diego, CA 92110

Get notified the next time we write about Kaiser Permanente!