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CDC makes three recommendations in support of newest shingles vaccine


LEXINGTON, Mass. — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently voted in favor of three recommendations for the use of GlaxoSmithKline's recently-approved Shingrix (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) containing QS-21 Stimulon for the prevention of shingles.

"The Advisory Committee's vote to recommend Shingrix enhanced with QS-21 Stimulon on three different counts further confirms our belief in the vaccine's efficacy and its potential to extend immunization for up to 62 million adults in the United States," stated Garo Armen, chairman and CEO, Agenus. Agenus is an immuno-oncology company with a pipeline of immune checkpoint antibodies and cancer vaccines.  "Today's vote confirms the importance of ensuring that millions of at-risk adults are protected against shingles with Shingrix."

The three recommendations include:

  • Herpes Zoster subunit vaccine (Shingrix) is recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications for immunocompetent adults age 50 year and older;

  • Herpes Zoster subunit vaccine (Shingrix) is recommended for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complication for immunocompetent adults who previously received Zoster Vaccine Live (Zostavax); and

  • Herpes Zoster subunit vaccine (Shingrix) is preferred over Zoster Vaccine Live (Zostavax) for the prevention of herpes zoster and related complications.

Shingrix was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on Oct. 20 for use in adults aged 50 years and older.

Shingles is a major public health issue in the US, impacting as many as 1 in 3 older adults over the age of 50 years. Shingles is caused by a virus called varicella zoster, which is also known as the chicken pox virus. Nearly all older adults have the varicella zoster virus dormant in their nervous system waiting to reactivate with advancing age and weakened immune systems.

The ACIP recommendations will be forwarded to the director of the CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services for review and approval. Once approved, the final recommendations will be published in a future Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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