Herpes zoster vaccine effectiveness and manifestations of herpes zoster and associated pain by vaccination status.

Research paper by Mona M Marin, Barbara P BP Yawn, Craig M CM Hales, Peter C PC Wollan, Stephanie R SR Bialek, John J Zhang, Marge J MJ Kurland, Rafael R Harpaz

Indexed on: 26 Mar '15Published on: 26 Mar '15Published in: Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics


Options for managing herpes zoster (HZ)-related pain and complications have limited effectiveness, making HZ prevention through vaccination an important strategy. Limited data are available on HZ vaccine effectiveness against confirmed HZ and manifestations of HZ among vaccinated persons. We conducted a matched case-control study to assess HZ vaccine effectiveness for prevention of HZ and other HZ-related outcomes and a cohort study of persons with HZ to compare HZ-related outcomes by vaccination status. Cases were identified through active surveillance among persons age ≥ 60 years with HZ onset and health-care encounters during 2010-2011 in Southeastern Minnesota. Controls were age- and sex-matched to cases. Data were collected by medical record review and from participants via interviews and daily pain diaries. 266 HZ case-patients and 362 matched controls were enrolled in the vaccine effectiveness studies and 303 case-patients in the cohort study of HZ characteristics by vaccination status. Vaccination was associated with 54% (95% CI:32%-69%) reduction in HZ incidence, 58% (95% CI:31%-75%) reduction in HZ prodromal symptoms, and 70% (95% CI:33%-87%) reduction in medically-attended prodrome. HZ vaccine was statistically significant effective at preventing postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) measured at 30 d after rash onset, 61% (95% CI: 22%-80%). Among persons who developed HZ, no differences were found by vaccination status in severity or duration of HZ pain after rash onset. In this population-based study, HZ vaccination was associated with >50% reduction in HZ, HZ prodrome, and medically-attended prodrome.