Drugs & Aging

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 525–531

Zoster Vaccine Live (Oka/Merck)

Adis Drug Profile

DOI: 10.2165/00002512-200623060-00007

Cite this article as:
Robinson, D.M. & Perry, C.M. Drugs Aging (2006) 23: 525. doi:10.2165/00002512-200623060-00007


▴ A subcutaneously administered, live, high-titre (18 700–60 000 plaque-forming units per dose) varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine (zoster vaccine) of the Oka/Merck strain has been evaluated for the prevention of herpes zoster and the reduction of zoster-associated pain in adults aged ≥60 years.

▴ Zoster vaccine, when compared with placebo, reduced the burden of herpes zoster illness by 61%, the incidence of herpes zoster by 51% and the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia by 67% during more than 3 years of surveillance.

▴ The zoster vaccine caused an initial 1.7-fold rise in VZV antibody titre after 6 weeks that declined progressively over 3 years.

▴ Increases in γ-interferon-secreting peripheral blood mononuclear cells were 2.2-fold greater with the zoster vaccine than with placebo 6 weeks after vaccination.

▴ Zoster vaccine was generally well tolerated. The most frequently reported adverse reactions following vaccination were injection-site reactions; the only systemic adverse event with zoster vaccine that differed significantly in incidence from that with placebo was headache.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Adis International LimitedMairangi Bay, AucklandNew Zealand