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J Intern Med. 2012 May;271(5):510-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02474.x. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Safety of zoster vaccine in adults from a large managed-care cohort: a Vaccine Safety Datalink study.

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Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA.



The aim of this study was to examine a large cohort of adults who received the zoster vaccine for evidence of an increased risk of prespecified adverse events requiring medical attention.


Two self-comparison approaches, including a case-centred approach and a self-controlled case series (SCCS) analysis were used.


Eight managed-care organizations participating in the Vaccine Safety Datalink project in the United States.


A total of 193 083 adults aged 50 and older receiving a zoster vaccine from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2008 were included.


Prespecified adverse events were identified by aggregated International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes in automated health plan datasets.


The risk of allergic reaction was significantly increased within 1-7 days of vaccination [relative risk = 2.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.87-2.40 by case-centred method and relative rate = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.85-2.91 by SCCS]. No increased risk was found for the following adverse event groupings: cerebrovascular events; cardiovascular events; meningitis; encephalitis; and encephalopathy; and Ramsay-Hunt syndrome and Bell's palsy.


The results of this study support the findings from the prelicensure clinical trials, providing reassurance that the zoster vaccine is generally safe and well-tolerated with a small increased risk of allergic reactions in 1-7 days after vaccination.

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