• Wed. Oct 27th, 2021

Shingles for 1 in 3 people in life, new more effective vaccine


May 6, 2021

Herpes zoster, the so-called ‘shingles’, affects about 150 thousand Italians a year. And in some cases it gives rise to a disabling complication, post-herpetic neuralgia, which reduces the quality of life of those affected. It is estimated that about one in 3 adults is at risk of developing at least one episode and the incidence and severity increase with age, reaching one in 2 people aged over 85. To take stock of the disease and the new health opportunities offered by vaccination – thanks to the new recombinant vaccine available today also in our country – was a panel of experts during the online meeting “Protecting from herpes zoster, an opportunity not to be missed. When innovation meets prevention ‘, organized today by Gsk Italia. Italy also contributed to the registration of the new vaccine, with 5 clinical trials involving 47 centers. “The long Italian tradition in the field vaccination and public health has meant that we have been and are also at the forefront in the clinical development of the vaccine “, said Giancarlo Icardi, professor of Hygiene at the University of Genoa.” As experimenters we were the first to note not only safety, but also the excellent performance of this vaccine in all subjects who are eligible for vaccination against shingles “, he added. vaccine practitioner, “general practitioners can only be at the forefront of shingles prevention. And even more thanks to the availability of an innovative vaccine that has perfect characteristics for use in our setting “, underlined Tommasa Maio, national secretary of the Italian Federation of General Practitioners – Continuity of care.” The effectiveness of general practitioners in the preventive field – he added – it is proven. Covid has made this role even more evident. In the autumn, general practitioners, in their 60,000 studies widely distributed throughout the country, safely vaccinated over 11 million Italians for flu in just 10 weeks, despite the fact that it was in full second pandemic wave and despite the fact that we had not been vaccinated against Covid. We have been working on the motivation for vaccination for some time and the relationship with patients is also consolidated in the vaccination field. “Until now, a live attenuated vaccine was available in Italy, capable of reducing cases of post-herpetic neuralgia by about 65%. and about 50% of all clinical cases of herpes zoster. But the efficacy decreases with age, from 70% in the 50s to 41% in the 70s. The efficacy of the new adjuvanted recombinant vaccine, evaluated in people with to whom two doses have been administered 2 months apart, is instead around 97% in the fifties and 91% in people over the age of 70. Among the advantages also the possibility of using it in subjects previously vaccinated with the live attenuated vaccine, to co-administer it with other vaccines, the persistence of protection for several years and the efficacy against post-herpetic neuralgia. “The new adjuvanted recombinant vaccine is a very important step forward in view of its high effectiveness both in the short and in the long term, especially for people over 65, given that the zoster is a very frequent pathology in the adult population and with serious complications “, explained Massimo Andreoni, professor of infectious diseases at the Tor Vergata University of Rome . “In addition – he added – the vaccine available up to now was a live attenuated virus, not usable precisely where there is greater need: in immunosuppressed patients who can now benefit from this new preventive option”. remembered the case of the Lombardy Region, which decided to immediately adopt this new vaccination for its citizens at risk through a tender procedure which, in recent days, saw the award in favor of the recombinant adjuvanted vaccine of Gsk. “The pandemic emergency – underlined Fabio Landazabal, president and CEO of GSK Italy – taught us the importance of not letting our guard down and preserving essential services to protect everyone, giving new meaning to the vaccination of adults as a person of to protect both quality of life and role in society. By transforming the perspectives of those at risk of shingles, we renew our promise to build real innovation for patients, starting from our excellence in research and production in Tuscany from where the vaccine is produced and distributed all over the world “.