FDA Approves New Shingles Vaccine

A new, more effective shingles vaccine has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The new vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline will be the second shingles vaccine available in the U.S. market. The other is from Merck and was introduced in 2006, the Associated Press reported.

Shingles is a painful condition caused by the chickenpox virus. Anyone who's had chickenpox carries the virus that causes shingles.

A study funded by Glaxo found that the company's Shingrix vaccine prevented shingles in about 90 percent of people. Merck's Zostavax vaccine is about 50 percent effective, the AP reported.

Shingrix will cost $280 for the required two shots. Zostavax costs $223. Most insurance plans cover the vaccination.

Both vaccines are for adults 50 and older, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for people 60 and older, partly because vaccination loses effectiveness over time, the AP reported.

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