Some readers have asked us if they can vaccinate against herpes zoster even though the information leaflet of the two available medicines warns not to use the vaccine as a treatment if you already have herpes zoster or its complications.
Herpes zoster, small handbook on vaccination by Sara Carmignani 01 August 2023
Herpes zoster vaccines are drugs designed to prevent the onset of the disease and its complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia. Readers’ concerns probably arise from a linguistic mix-up: vaccination should not be considered a treatment against the current disease. It must be carried out some time after the clinical manifestations of the infection, to prevent its reappearance. If administered during an acute illness, in fact, the vaccine would be useless and potentially harmful.
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*Andrea Ungar is full professor of Geriatrics at the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine of the University of Florence and President of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics.
The information provided is intended for informational purposes only: it does not represent medical advice in any way and cannot replace diagnoses or treatment indications recommended by your doctor or a specialist..