Results of a recent quality improvement study determined that herpes zoster vaccine (HZV) coverage is low in people living with HIV (PLWH) and that, although clinical reminders increase vaccine coverage rates, improvements in logistical and insurance barriers are necessary to increase its usage.

The study analyzed herpes zoster (HZ) vaccination rates in PLWH obtained from 6 institutions. In Part 1 of the intervention, providers were notified of PLWH at the University of Colorado who were eligible for the HZV. Part 2 of the intervention involved both provider notification as well as the placement of an HZV order in the patient’s chart prior to the patient being seen.

The authors found that vaccination rates varied between 1.5% and 42.4% at the 6 institutions assessed and that 21.3% of eligible patients at the University of Colorado received HZV prior to the intervention. “An additional 8.3% received HZV with Part 1 and 17.8% with Part 2 interventions,” the study authors stated. They added, “At completion, a total of 53.2% of eligible patients had received HZV through routine clinical care or the interventions.” 

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Data analysis also determined that insurance coverage was a common concern in patients who did not receive HZV. Adverse reactions occurred in 26.7% of patients and were considered minor.

According to results of this study, HZV coverage in PLWH is generally low. “Clinical reminders with links to vaccination orders or pre-placed vaccination orders led to improved HZV coverage in our clinic, but published guidelines for use of HZV in PLWH and improvement in logistic or insurance barriers to HZV receipt are paramount to improved HZV coverage,” the study authors concluded.


Eriandson KM et al. Low rates of vaccination for herpes zoster in older people living with HIV. AIDS Research and Human Retrovirus. DOI: 10.1089/aid.2017.3015.