Is the herpes zoster vaccine advisable for those who are not yet of the recommended age but suffer from certain pathologies (for example glaucoma), even if they are vaccinated against chickenpox? How effective is it? Is it possible that it doesn’t work for some people?

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The herpes zoster vaccine is recommended not only for people over 65 years of age, but also for those with risk pathologies as long as they are over 18 years of age. Having eye disorders, such as glaucoma, is not a particular indication because it increases the risk: the problem, however, is that since herpes zoster can affect the optic nerve, in the presence of eye diseases, this risk could be aggravated . For example, in Puglia we have included having only one eye among the risk conditions, as the risk of remaining blind becomes higher.

Herpes zoster, small handbook on vaccination

by Sara Carmignani

Vaccination against herpes zoster can be carried out even if you are already vaccinated against chickenpox, given that there is no evidence to guarantee that those vaccinated against the latter disease are also protected against herpes zoster. The efficacy of the vaccine we use now, of two doses, has a codified efficacy of 97%, and is therefore certainly very effective. The possibility that it doesn’t work is reported to only 3% of the population, but these are mainly very elderly people.

How long should I wait after having herpes zoster in my eye to get vaccinated?

*Michele Conversano is director of the Prevention Department of the Local Health Authority of the province of Taranto

The information provided is intended for informational purposes only: it does not represent medical advice in any way and cannot replace diagnoses or treatment indications recommended by your doctor or a specialist.

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