Studies with herpes zoster vaccines in immune compromised patients

Academic Article


  • Introduction: The active component of the herpes zoster vaccine (ZVL), licensed for people ≥50 years of age, is a live attenuated varicella-zoster virus. ZVL is contraindicated for immune compromised individuals, with limited regard to the degree of immunosuppression. Areas covered: This review evaluates phase I and II and observational studies for ZVL, and published reports of the off-label use of ZVL, for conditions and therapies for which investigators considered the risk-benefit for using ZVL to be favorable. It also discusses exploratory trials of ZVL for additional immune compromising conditions, and summarizes clinical guidelines from many countries and professional societies that are based upon recent investigations. Studies in immune compromised patients of investigational vaccines that do not contain live virus are reviewed. Expert commentary: It is likely that past and ongoing research with ZVL will define immune compromising diseases and/or therapies for which the risk-benefit for using ZVL vaccine is favorable. The main variables to consider in this assessment in immune compromised patients are safety, immunogenicity, protection against herpes zoster, and persistence of protection. Vaccination against herpes zoster prior to suppressing immunity is an important clinical strategy, although efficacy of this approach has not been evaluated in a clinical trial.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levin MJ; Bresnitz E; Popmihajlov Z; Weinberg A; Liaw KL; Willis E; Curtis JR
  • Start Page

  • 1217
  • End Page

  • 1230
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 12