July 30, 2016
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"March 24, 2011 - People age 50 and older can now get Merck's Zostavax shingles vaccine, the FDA today ruled.

The vaccine already was approved for people age 60 and older. The approval is based on a Merck clinical trial that showed the"...





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Do not administer ZOSTAVAX to individuals with a history of anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reaction to gelatin, neomycin or any other component of the vaccine. Neomycin allergy manifested as contact dermatitis is not a contraindication to receiving this vaccine.1


ZOSTAVAX is a live, attenuated varicella-zoster vaccine and administration may result in disseminated disease in individuals who are immunosuppressed or immunodeficient. Do not administer ZOSTAVAX to immunosuppressed or immunodeficient individuals including those with a history of primary or acquired immunodeficiency states, leukemia, lymphoma or other malignant neoplasms affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, AIDS or other clinical manifestations of infection with human immunodeficiency viruses, and those on immunosuppressive therapy.


Do not administer ZOSTAVAX to pregnant women. It is not known whether ZOSTAVAX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. However, naturally occurring varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection is known to sometimes cause fetal harm. Therefore, ZOSTAVAX should not be administered to pregnant women, and pregnancy should be avoided for 3 months following administration of ZOSTAVAX.


1. Reitschel RL, Bernier R. Neomycin sensitivity and the MMR vaccine. JAMA 1981;245(6):571.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 10/14/2014


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