Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory state of the gastrointestinal tract(1) affecting 1.6-3.1 million people in the United States. Patients with IBD are treated with immunosuppressants that increase their risk of herpes zoster (HZ), also known as shingles.
Those with IBD have a two-fold increased risk for HZ compared to age matched controls. Because most IBD patients are treated with systemic immunosuppressants, which are an independent risk factor for HZ, the live attenuated HZ vaccine was not recommended. However, the release of the new inactivated HZ vaccine, Shingrix (GlaxoSmithKline), presents new opportunities for preventive care.