FDA approves Zostavax (zoster) for adults 50 – 59

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Zostavax, a live attenuated virus vaccine, for the prevention of shingles in individuals 50 to 59 years of age. Zostavax is already approved for use in individuals 60 years of age and older. Karen Midthun, M.D., director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, commented, “The likelihood of shingles increases with age. The availability of Zostavax to a younger age group provides an additional opportunity to prevent this often painful and debilitating disease.” The FDA noted that approval “was based on a multicenter study conducted in the United States and four other countries in approximately 22,000 people who were 50-59 years of age. Half received Zostavax and half received a placebo. Study participants were then monitored for at least one year to see if they developed shingles. Compared with placebo, Zostavax reduced the risk of developing shingles by approximately 70 percent.”

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm248390.htm