Few people receive Shingles vaccine

A recent study found that the herpes zoster vaccine, which has documented effectiveness in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuraliga, is not sufficiently administered to the population.

The study was published in the PLoS Medicine journal and randomly selected over 765,000 cases of elderly Medicare patients with Shingles who did and did not receive the herpes zoster vaccine.

The study found that the vaccine yielded an effectiveness of 48 percent. The vaccine was less effective for individuals that were immunosuppressed at 37 percent, but found to achieve an effectiveness of 59 percent against PHN.

"Despite strong evidence supporting (the vaccine's) effectiveness, clinical use remains disappointingly low, with particularly low vaccination rates in particular patient groups," the authors of the study said.

The study's authors said that PHN and Shingles are associated highly with morbidity and adverse effects on a person's quality of life. They suggested an increase in the use of this vaccine.

The CDC also commented on the herpes zoster vaccine, saying that coverage levels are "unacceptably low" and do not meet the target levels set by HHS Healthy People 2020 initiative.

"Routine assessment of adult patient vaccination needs, recommendation and offer of needed vaccinations for adults should be incorporated into routine clinical care of adults," the CDC said.