Updated
May 2nd, 2018

Shingrix Shingles Vaccine in Short Supply

GSK is working to make more Shingrix doses available

senior man and women walking holding hands

It's easy to spot a real winner in the commercial marketplace. The first sign of success relates to inventory management.

Such as when consumer demand outpaces inventory sooner than forecasted.

And this market-driven reality applies to vaccines as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its list of current vaccine shortage and delays at the end of April 2018 included Shingrix, a Zoster vaccine.

Shingrix was approved by the CDC during October, 2017.

This CDC note said ‘to expect intermittent shipping delays through the end of June 2018.’

And, the vaccine’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is working to make more doses available.

“Despite the supply glitches, the recommendations for who should receive Shingrix remain the same,” said Mitchel C. Rothholz, RPh, MBA, chief strategy officer at APhA. 

“No prioritization of patients is recommended at this time.”

“You may continue to offer the Shingrix vaccine to new patients and to those needing to complete their vaccine series. Decisions should be made based on your practice and patient needs,” Rothholz said.

The CDC recommends that adults age 50 and older get two doses of Shingrix, 2 to 6 months apart.

According to CDC, if a patient does not receive the second dose within that time frame, the patient won’t need to restart the vaccination series.

However, the caveat is the data regarding the safety of alternative dosing regimens is limited and the efficacy of alternative dosing regimens has not been evaluated.

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Which means new patients should schedule their shingles vaccination appointment asap!

Request an appointment at a local pharmacy here.

Herpes zoster is a localized, usually painful, cutaneous eruption resulting from reactivation of the latent varicella-zoster virus.

Herpes zoster impacts approximately one million people each year in the United States reports the CDC.

The incidence increases with age, from five cases per 1,000 population in adults aged 50–59 years to 11 cases per 1,000 population in persons aged ≥80 years.

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), commonly defined as persistent pain for at least 90 days following the resolution of the herpes zoster rash, is the most common complication and occurs in 10%–13% of herpes zoster cases in persons aged >50 years.

Among persons with herpes zoster, the risk for developing PHN also increases with age.

Zostervax is another shingles vaccine available at most pharmacies. Here is a comparison between Shingrix and Zostervax. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides current vaccine information.

Vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.