Current strategies for managing herpes zoster show variable efficacy and do not prevent its appearance. Varicella-zoster virus vaccine, or "zoster vaccine" is a more potent form of the varicella-zoster virus vaccine currently approved for use in the prevention of varicella in children. Zoster vaccine decreases the incidence of herpes zoster and burden of illness in adults aged 60 years and older and appears more efficacious in patients aged 60-69 than in those over 70 years. Importantly, the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia is significantly reduced in patients who receive zoster vaccine, irrespective of age or sex. The duration of postherpetic neuralgia is also significantly reduced. Zoster vaccine has a favorable safety profile; most treatment-related adverse events are related to the site of injection. This review summarizes the current data on the clinical efficacy and safety of zoster vaccine in adults aged 60 years and older.
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