Shortages Arise For New Shingles Vaccine

From the WebMD Archives

June 27, 2018 -- Supplies of a new and more effective shingles vaccine are running low in the United States.

Shingrix is used to protect adults older than 50 from the condition, which causes a painful rash and nerve pain. The vaccine was approved in the fall by the Food and Drug Administration and is the preferred vaccine recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Post reported.

Supplies of Shingrix have not kept pace with demand. The CDC began reporting shortages of the vaccine in early May. Order limits and shipping delays are expected to continue through 2018, according to Shingrix maker GlaxoSmithKline, which is working to increase supply.

It's likely that the shortage of Shingrix will discussed at Wednesday's regularly scheduled meeting of a federal panel that advises the CDC on immunizations, according to the Post.

About 1 in 3 adults will develop shingles, which is caused by the reactivation of the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Compared to the older single-shot shingles vaccine Zostavax that's been in use since 2006, the new two-dose Shingrix vaccine provides greater protection (more than 90 percent) and lasts longer, the Post reported.