Clinical Dialogue: Herpes Zoster Vaccination: What Clinicians Need to Know to Improve Vaccination Rates

Despite the prevalence of herpes zoster (HZ) and the availability of a vaccine for more than a decade, HZ vaccination rates remain strikingly low. In order to reduce the disease burden of HZ, clinicians must remain up to date on all aspects of disease prevention and management. It is critical that educational programs have the goals of reviewing risk factors, disease burden, and overall health impact of HZ; implementing strategies that improve vaccination rates; comparing the efficacy and safety data of available vaccines, reviewing current national recommendations for vaccination and differences in administration and use of available vaccines; and outlining the benefits of pharmacy-based vaccination and strategies to increase their use.

Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
  • Explain the risk factors, disease burden, and overall health impact of herpes zoster (shingles).
  • Implement strategies to improve vaccination uptake.
  • Compare efficacy and safety trial data of zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted (RZV) and zoster vaccine live, attenuated (ZVL).
  • Apply the current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations appropriately in eligible patients.
  • Outline the benefits of using pharmacy-based vaccination and methods to increase their use.