The recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was approved Oct. 20 by a unanimous vote.
Shingles occurs when the varicella zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox, is reactivated in the body. There are about 1 million cases of shingles in the U.S. every year, according to CDC estimates, and 1 in 3 Americans will develop shingles over their lifetime. While adults older than 50 are one of the most vulnerable groups to reinfection a weakened immune system is another common risk factor.
The FDA originally approved Shingrix in 2017 for adults over 50; in July of this year, the vaccine was approved for all immunocompromised adults.
For adults with working immune systems, Shingrix is given in two doses, 2 to 6 months apart. For immunocompromised patients, the second dose can be given 1 to 2 months after the first.