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Med Microbiol Immunol. 2013 Aug;202(4):257-8. doi: 10.1007/s00430-013-0298-x. Epub 2013 May 7.

Progress in VZV vaccination? Some concerns.

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Institute of Medical Virology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Since 1995, many countries have been aiming to replace the natural immunity against varicella by a vaccine-induced immunity to protect against varicella and herpes zoster. While the frequency of varicella in childhood has been significantly reduced, in future, herpes zoster morbidity might increase in the elderly due to the weaker immunity post-vaccination and the absence of immunity boosting silent reinfections. In countries, where less than 90 % of children are covered by universal vaccination, varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection is not completely eradicated, but might move from childhood to the age of young adults who suffer from more serious complications. A special VZV vaccine against herpes zoster in adults aged >60 years has proven to be effective in many cases, but not all vaccinees. This might lead to problems regarding the acceptance of vaccination and delay rapid antiviral therapy to prevent the post-zosteric neuralgia. An efficacious-inactivated VZV vaccine to protect immunocompromised patients is still missing. VZV vaccines and vaccination strategies have to be optimised to avoid that the quality of life and cost savings from varicella reduction in childhood are offset by more VZV diseases in adults.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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