Merck announced that Zostavax (varicella zoster vaccine, live, attenuated) has gained an expanded indication for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in individuals 50–59 years of age. This approval was based on data from a multicenter study conducted in 22,000 adults 50–59 years of age. Patients received either Zostavax or placebo and were monitored for at least one year to see if they developed shingles. Compared with placebo, Zostavax reduced the risk of developing shingles by approximately 70%.
Zostavax is already approved for use in adults ≥60 years.
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