New shingles vaccine now available in Australia

GSK Australia Announced that a new vaccine to help prevent shingles in adults over the age of 50 is now available on the Australian private market.

About 120,000 new shingles occur each year in Australia, accounting for about 1 in 1,000 GP visits.1 Most people recover completely from shingles, but this condition can be painful and debilitating. Shingles, caused by the reactivation of the varicella virus in adulthood, affects up to 1 in 3 people at some point in life, and the risk increases with age.2

According to infectious disease doctor and clinical virologist Professor Tony Cunningham, additional options are welcome to help prevent shingles and its associated complications.

“Shingles can be very painful. The pain associated with shingles is often described as burning, stinging, or stinging. Acute pain starts at 2 weeks. It can last for four weeks, but some people have complications and chronic pain that last for months.

“Shingles can be difficult to treat once symptoms occur, so in Australia, where one in three people experience the disease, vaccines are important in reducing the effects of the infection. You can play a role, “said Professor Cunningham.

Shingrix is ​​enrolled in Australian adults over the age of 50 for the prevention of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).3,4 Up to 30% of people with shingles can develop PHN.5,6

“Most adults in Australia had chickenpox as a child, which means that most of us are at risk of developing shingles,” said Professor Cunningham. “Shingles is a varicella virus. With reactivation. The risk of reactivation increases with age, especially 50 years after the immune system ages. “

Co Luu, GSK Australia Vaccines Medical Director, said the main focus is on bringing innovative medicines and vaccines to Australia.

“GSK Australia is very proud to make this herpes zoster vaccine available in Australia. GSK is at the center of our research on how the immune system declines with age. We are standing and understand that we need more preventive options. We are excited to protect more Australians from herpes zoster by supplying Shingrix to Australia, “he said. Told.

Shingrix is ​​a non-living recombinant subunit vaccine that is given intramuscularly in two doses. If you are over 50 years old, you can use it with your doctor’s personal prescription.

Reference materials
  1. Jayasinghe S, Sheridan S, Macartney K. Shingles Vaccination in Australia: What Is Available and Who Will Benefit? Aust Prescr. 2020; 43 (1): 2-6. Doi: 10.18773 / austprescr.2020.001
  2. Shingles in Australia. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2018. (accessed April 2021)
  3. Shingles (shingles). Australian Vaccination Handbook. 2020 Australian Government Department of Health. (accessed April 2021)
  4. National Center for Immunization Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). Shingles fact sheet. (accessed April 2021)
  5. Wehrhahn MC, Dwyer DE. Shingles: Epidemiology, Clinical Features, Treatment and Prevention Aust Prescr 2012; 35: 143-7.
  6. Kawai K, Gebre Mesquel BG, Acosta CJ. Systematic Review of Shingles Incidence and Complications: Towards a Global Perspective. BMJ Open. June 2014; 4 (6): e004833

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