New shingles vaccine is highly effective, long-lasting -- and in short supply

There is a national shortage of the new and more effective vaccine zoster vaccine recombinant (Shingrix—GlaxoSmithKline) to protect older adults from shingles. The vaccine has been recommended by CDC for healthy adults start to receiving the vaccine at age 50 years, a decade earlier than the previous recommendation.

There is a national shortage of the new and more effective vaccine zoster vaccine recombinant (Shingrix—GlaxoSmithKline) to protect older adults from shingles. The vaccine has been recommended by CDC for healthy adults start to receiving the vaccine at age 50 years, a decade earlier than the previous recommendation. The new two-dose vaccine provides greater protection—more than 90%—and lasts longer than the older single-shot vaccine that has been in use since 2006. CDC recommends that people should get the new vaccine if they have had shingles, have previously received the old vaccine, or have had or are unsure if they have had chickenpox. There are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles in the United States each year; the risk of the disease increases as people age. Supply of the new vaccine has not kept pace with demand. GlaxoSmithKline "implemented order limits and providers have experienced shipping delays," according to a note posted on the CDC's vaccine shortage list earlier this month. Even though GSK is working to increase supply, those order limits and shipping delays will continue through 2018, the note said. GSK said it is increasing the U.S. supply available for 2018 and plans to release doses to all customer types on a consistent and predictable schedule for the remainder of the year.