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Aging health. 2010 Apr 1;6(2):169-176.

Herpes zoster vaccine for the elderly: boosting immunity.

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Division of Infectious Disease, University of Maryland School of Medicine, MD, USA, Tel.: +1 410 328 5039.


Herpes zoster, also known as shingles, is a disease that results from the reactivation of a latent infection of the varicella zoster virus, which is usually encountered during early childhood. Aging is associated with an increased risk for herpes zoster and its complications. Boosting immunological memory is the key strategy for keeping the latent varicella zoster virus infection under control. A live attenuated virus vaccine is safe, effective and approved for use among healthy elderly adults aged 60 years or older. However, significant problems remain in the prevention of herpes zoster with the current vaccine. Future studies for improved vaccines and studies into the epidemiology of herpes zoster are required in order to address this significant public health burden.

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