CDC recommends shingles vaccine for everyone older than 60

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 9, 2008

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling for everyone older than 60 to be vaccinated against shingles, whether or not they have a history of this condition or chickenpox, according to a paper published online May 15 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

A provisional recommendation was made Oct. 25, 2006, by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, but this publication makes it CDC policy. Studies have shown that this shot reduces the risk of shingles by 50% for this age group. For those 60 to 69, the reduction is 64%.

According to Merck & Co. Inc., the vaccine's manufacturer, approximately 43 million adults are at risk for shingles. Additionally, a study in the May Archives of Dermatology found that 39% of those with varicella zoster but only 11% of those without had a relative who had shingles.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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