Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have been shown to be at increased risk of developing certain infections, such as shingles from the Herpes Zoster (HZ) virus, as a result of their underlying disease.
Patients with UC are also often treated with immunosuppressants, and research has shown that IBD patients on immunosuppressants have an impaired immune response to vaccination in comparison to immunocompetent controls.
Because UC patients are often treated with immunosuppressants, the live HZ vaccine was not recommended in these patients. Shingrix, however, is a new inactivated vaccine recently approved by the FDA for prevention of HZ in adults age 50 and older, and Shingrix should be safe to administer in IBD patients because it does not contain live HZ virus. Data on efficacy of the Shingrix vaccine also appears promising in immunocompromised patients.