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Recombinant zoster vaccine (Shingrix ® ): a new option for the prevention of herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia.

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a challenging condition for pain management specialists. The prevention of herpes zoster (HZ) and subsequent PHN in individuals aged 50 years and older, via the development of new vaccines, is an ongoing research project. The live zoster vaccine (LZV, Zostavax® ) was the first proof of concept that vaccination could prevent HZ, but LZV cannot be used in various immunecompromised patients. This led to the development of a new non-live recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix® ). This RZV has shown promising results in many clinical trials, with high reactogenicity and similar systemic adverse effects compared to those of LZV. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended LZV as a standard vaccine for HZ prevention in adults ≥ 50 years of age, but no studies directly comparing the safety and efficacy of RZV and LZV vaccines have been conducted. This article reviews the brief history, efficacy, and safety of the two vaccines and discusses the advantage of RZV over LZV based on the available literature.

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