Ongoing Study Provides Hope for Shingles Prevention
The project got underway in March. After inoculation, with either the
vaccine or a placebo, the people will be followed for about four years.
"It's fundamentally a very simple-minded study," Oxman tells WebMD.
"But there's a lot of work for safety reasons, because if this vaccine
works, there's going to be 60 or 70 million older people who are going to want
to get it in a relatively short period of time, and the FDA quite properly
wants to have a lot more than the usual safety data [for approval]."
Whether this trial works, Perkins of the VZV Foundation tells WebMD,
"the problem is going to ultimately be solved by vaccination -- we're
pretty sure of that."
- Shingles is an infection of the nerve and skin that can cause excruciating
pain for several weeks, months, or years.
- The virus that causes chicken pox is responsible for shingles. It remains
dormant in the body after a bout with chicken pox and is triggered by lowered
immunity, usually a result of aging.
- A large trial is currently underway to test a vaccine for shingles that is
similar to the chicken pox vaccine used in children.