Yes, This Shingles Vaccine Is Worth the Wait

Shingrix vaccine inventory shortages may last into 2019

people waiting in line

Since the 2017 launch of the shingles vaccine Shingrix, several positive studies have been released. 

And the consumer demand keeps increasing. 

But, the overwhelming market acceptance has led to significant Shingrix availability issues. 

And, according to the pharmaceutical company’s CEO, demand may continue exceeding Shingrix supply. 

On October 31, 2018, GSK’s Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley said, "Shingrix continues to have a remarkable start and we have now administered nearly 7 million doses worldwide since launch." 

And, “GSK now expects Shingrix sales of 700-750 million pounds this year, up 100 million pounds from the target given in July,’ reported Reuters.   

While seniors need to wait to schedule their Shingrix vaccination, and GSK continues to work through their vaccine production issues, the good news is Shingrix keeps delivering. 

Here are a few Shingrix news articles: 

October 26th, 2018 – A new study reported Shingrix might prevent more cases of herpes zoster than the live attenuated vaccine, Zostavax. 

August 19th, 2018 – The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends people age 50 and older get the shingles vaccine 10 years earlier than previous recommendations.

Recommended:

July 6th, 2018 – A new study reported there were no safety or immunogenicity issues found when co-administering Pneumovax 23 and Shingrix vaccines. 

During a person’s lifetime, about 30 percent of Americans will develop herpes zoster, which translates into an estimated 1 million new cases each year, reports Immunize.org.

Shingles occur when the herpes zoster virus reactivates years or decades after a chickenpox outbreak. 

For about 10 to 13 percent of people, shingles leave them with deep, searing nerve pain, which is a condition called post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN).   

PHN can last for months or years and has no treatment or cure, says Immunize.org. 

The Shingrix vaccine delivers nearly twice as effective as the previous shingles vaccine and available to patients 10 years younger than before, enabling the prevention of a painful, common condition.

While both consumers and pharmacies wait for GSK to improve their inventory situation, the CDC prepared several FAQs related to the Shingrix vaccine, which can be found at this link.

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.