Shingrix Knocks Down Zostavax

Shingles vaccine Shingrix inventory shortage may continue into 2019

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According to Wall Street reports, the original market leader in shingles vaccines has experienced a significant change in just one year.

Merck said in its July 29, 2018 press release that “Vaccines performance was negatively affected by a significant decrease in sales of Zostavax primarily due to the approval of a competitor product, that received a preferential recommendation from the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).”

Additionally, Merck said, “The company anticipates that future sales of Zostavax will continue to be unfavorably affected by this competition.”

This new shingles vaccine, Shingrix, was approved by the ACIP in October 2017.

Since then, the Shingrix vaccine has been very well received in the marketplace.

When GSK reported its financial results during late July 2018, they said Shingrix sales was far exceeding forecast.

In fact, GSK said during June 2018 that consumer demand for Shingrix might not be met with production capability until 2019.

Additionally, as of July 5, 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported: “Overall, the supply of Shingrix during 2018 is sufficient to support the vaccination of more patients during 2018 than were vaccinated against shingles during 2017.”

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To mitigate this overwhelming consumer demand, most pharmacies are scheduling appointments to deliver Shingrix vaccinations when inventory becomes available.

Appointment requests can be submitted at this page

To better facilitate the comparison between the two ACIP approved shingles vaccines, the APhA developed a one-page reference for everyone’s review.

“It’s important to keep up with changing immunization guidelines,” said APhA Chief Strategy Officer Mitchel C. Rothholz, RPh, MBA.

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