Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix, GlaxoSmithKline) was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2017. It is a subunit vaccine that contains recombinant varicella zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E in combination with a novel adjuvant (AS01B). Shingrix does not contain live VZV. It is FDA-approved and recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for people 50 years and older. Shingrix is administered as a 2-dose series by the intramuscular route. The second dose should be given 2 to 6 months after the first dose.
Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are antiviral drugs that are active against herpesviruses. These drugs will have no effect on Shingrix, which does not contain live varicella virus.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) does not recommend zoster vaccination for people younger than age 50 years regardless of their history of shingles. Shingrix can be given right away or at any time to any person for whom the vaccine is recommended. Shingles is not caused by exposure to another person with shingles. However, exposure to someone with shingles can possibly cause chickenpox in a person with no immunity to varicella zoster virus (VZV) from either vaccination or prior chickenpox infection. Zoster is caused by the reactivation of VZV in people who have already had a prior VZV infection
CDC’s General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization advise that non-live vaccines, such as Shingrix, can be administered concomitantly, at different anatomic sites, with any other live or non-live vaccine. They should be given as separate injections, not combined in the same syringe.
What is the minimum interval between doses of Shingrix?
The recommended interval between Shingrix doses is 2 to 6 months. The minimum interval between doses of Shingrix is 4 weeks. If the second dose is given less than 4 weeks after the first dose the second dose should be repeated at least 8 weeks after the invalid dose.