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Clinical case review

Shingles vaccine. Is it worth the effort?

Michael C Wehrhahn, Dominic E Dwyer

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Abstract

Studies in more than 150,000 people suggest the shingles (zoster) vaccine can halve the incidence of herpes zoster and reduce its complications even more in people aged 60 years and over.

Article Extract

Case scenario

Jessie, aged 72 years, has just returned from a holiday in the USA. During the trip she met several Americans around her age who had been given ‘shingles vaccine’ by their local doctors. They were surprised that Jessie had never heard of shingles vaccine and even more surprised that it was not promoted strongly in Australia for those aged over 65 years.

Jessie comes to see you to ask about the vaccine and whether she should have it. She is in good health with treated stable hypertension and takes statins for hypercholesterolaemia. She says she had a severe bout of chickenpox when she was in primary school.

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