October 21, 2021 -- A panel of CDC advisors has voted to recommend the shingles vaccine Shingrix for people with immune system deficiencies who are age 19 or or older.

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.