Kaiser Permanente Study Confirms Efficacy of Shingles Vaccine Post-Chemotherapy

The herpes zoster vaccine continues to be effective in protecting older adults against shingles, even after they undergo chemotherapy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Researchers examined the electronic health records of more than 21,000 Kaiser Permanente patients in Southern California who were 60 years of age and older and received chemotherapy between January 2007 and December 2012. They found that patients who were previously vaccinated with zoster vaccine were 42 percent less likely to develop shingles following chemotherapy. In addition, no vaccinated patients underwent hospitalization for shingles, while six unvaccinated patients were hospitalized with the disease, according to the study.

“The zoster vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in elderly adults with healthy immune systems but until now, there has been a lack of data on whether the vaccine remains safe and effective for individuals who might have compromised immune systems resulting from treatments like chemotherapy,” said study lead author Hung Fu Tseng, PhD, MPH, of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. “Our study demonstrates that older patients who had previously been vaccinated against shingles have a lower chance of developing this painful and often debilitating disease after chemotherapy.”

Read the original report here: http://bit.ly/1yrga3H

Source: Kaiser Permanante