“Considering the aging of the population”, the recombinant vaccine against Herpes Zoster “is a model of application of scientific research not only for this disease, but also for other vaccines, because it works by reactivating immunity, which declines over the years “Or due to diseases or treatments.” Unlike others that facilitate the entry of antigen into cells, this vaccine works with a different mechanism because the adjuvant promotes the immune response. “Thus Phil Dormitzer, medical doctor, Phd, Global Head of Vaccines R&D, Gsk, meeting today with the international press for the presentation of the intermediate data of the Zoster-049 study showing an efficacy of more than 80% in protecting the over 50, at least for 10 years, against the disease known as St. Anthony’s Fire, after the initial vaccination. The study, which involved nearly 7,500 people from 18 countries, including Italy, was presented in America during the week of illnesses. act infectious (IDWeek-Infectious diseases Week) and will be published on October 23 in the Open Forum Infectious Diseases (Ofid), a journal of the American Association of Infectious Diseases (Idsa). Herpes Zoster is caused by the reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox (Varicella Zoster) and which, after the skin rash, remains silent in the nerve endings. With age, after the age of 50, the immune system becomes less effective and therefore the risk of the virus reactivating and developing shingles increases. The disease causes a very intense, stinging pain which, in 30% of cases, after the rash, with which it occurs, has disappeared, can last months or even years (post-herpetic neuralgia) with heavy impacts on the quality of the life. “90% of older people have had chickenpox infection – said Leonard Friedland, Vice President, Director Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, Gsk -. With age, 1 in 3 over 50s can develop the disease due to the decline of immunity. The vaccine can avoid for years, at least 10, not only the disease, but also its consequences, such as debilitating post-herpetic pain, for years ”. The recombinant zoster vaccine (Rzv) is the first approved for the prevention of herpes zoster to associate a non-live antigen with the Gsk adjuvant. “It is the first vaccine for an infection that works by preventing a virus, which we already have, from reactivating – explains, in his speech, Javier Diez-Domingo, principal investigator of the Zoe 049 study – It does not prevent infection, but it helps the body to prevent it from reactivating and producing disease. It’s a new concept ”. In addition, “it is the first vaccine for adults and the elderly that is effective for so long”. On the aspect of efficacy, “as a doctor – emphasizes Wayne Ghesquiere, principal investigator of the Zoe 049 study – to say that not only efficacy, but also safety are maintained not for 2, but for 10 years, it is very important: not many studies have these data that reassure the doctor, but also the patient ”. In this regard, the study will proceed up to 12-15 years. In the European Union, the recombinant vaccine is indicated for the prevention of herpes zoster and, in some countries, for post-herpetic neuralgia, for adults aged 50 and over. It is the only anti-herpetic infection approved for the at-risk patient population aged 18 and under 50 years of age. In Italy, the 2017-2019 National Vaccine Prevention Plan introduced anti Herpes Zoster in the vaccination calendar for the cohort of 65 and over 50 in the presence of diseases such as: diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and BPCO (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), cancer, candidates for treatment with immunosuppressive therapy (such as rheumatic diseases), patients with factors that increase the risk of developing the infection or aggravate the symptomatological picture The new adjuvanted recombinant vaccine – it was recalled in the meeting – has a efficacy around 97% in fifties and 91% in people over seventy, an efficacy that persists over 80% even in the following 10 years. Among the other advantages there is also the possibility of using it in subjects previously vaccinated with the live attenuated one, of co-administering it with some vaccines, including inactivated non-adjuvanted influenza one, and also with anti-Covid-19. This aspect is particularly important because, Diez-Domingo recalls, “there are 2 studies that show how Covid 19 has increased the risk of Herpes Zoster by 20% due to the decline in immunity” induced by Sars-Cov2. “We should be more careful about recommending this vaccine,” he concludes.