Herpes zoster (HZ) is a painful cutaneous rash with vesicular lesions, lasting up to 3 weeks, and caused by reactivation of the latent varicella zoster virus (VZV). It may be associated with complications, the most feared being post-herpetic neuralgia. Effective vaccines are available to prevent HZ, but uptake remains low. We report here the conclusions of an expert focus group convened by the European Interdisciplinary Council on Ageing (EICA). The group discussed how existing recommendations regarding HZ vaccination could be better implemented, and how compliance and coverage with HZ vaccination could be enhanced. This report proposes strategies to increase awareness of HZ and its vaccine, enhance vaccine uptake, and educate regarding the role of prevention, including immunization, as a means to "age well". A key strategy that could rapidly and easily be implemented at low cost is co-administration of HZ vaccine with other vaccines scheduled in the target age group. The scientific evidence surrounding the safety and efficacy of co-administration is discussed. Other strategies, such as active calls, publicity campaigns and national vaccine registries are also outlined. There is a compelling need for a full consensus document that carries weight across all the healthcare professions involved in vaccination, to issue simple and basic recommendations for all healthcare providers.
- Focus Groups
- Herpes Zoster Vaccine/immunology