Herpes zoster, can I repeat the vaccination?

Herpes zoster, can I repeat the vaccination?


Some time ago I took prophylaxis for Herpes zoster with the old single-dose vaccine, but under stress or after an illness I have episodes of neuropathic pain. Should I repeat the vaccination?

Dear Reader,
Two vaccines against Herpes zoster are available in Italy: the adjuvanted recombinant vaccine (RZV, administered in two doses with an interval of 2-6 months, available in Italy from 2021) and the live attenuated virus vaccine (ZLV, administered in single dose, available since 2006). Both are indicated for the prevention of Herpes zoster and Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (NPE), helping to control the reactivation and replication of the virus within the body. However, the adjuvanted RZV vaccine has demonstrated superior efficacy and a longer duration of protection compared to the ZLV vaccine, and is preferentially recommended by several national and international institutions. As per the National Vaccine Prevention Plan, it is possible to carry out revaccination with the adjuvanted recombinant vaccine (RVZ) in subjects already vaccinated with the live attenuated vaccine (ZLV), especially in cases of recurrent relapses or in subjects with immunosuppression.

No risk is linked to revaccination. The RVZ vaccine reduces the risk of Herpes zoster by 97.2% in people over 50 years of age and by 91.3% in people over 70 years of age. It also reduces the risk of peripheral neuropathy by 100% in the age group between 50 and 69 years and by 89% in those over seventy. Consider that post herpetic neuralgia (NPH) represents one of the most frequent complications of Herpes zoster and occurs in a percentage of 25-30% of cases, the percentage and duration (up to even years) increase in relation to the state of immunosuppression .

Send your questions to [email protected]

* Stefania Maggi is CNR research director of the Institute of Neuroscience, Padua-Aging Section.

The information provided is intended for informational purposes only: it does not represent medical advice in any way and cannot replace diagnoses or treatment indications recommended by your doctor or a specialist.


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