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Herpes Zoster Vaccine in the Long-Term Care Setting: A Clinical and Logistical Conundrum

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Advancing age is associated with an increased risk of herpes zoster (shingles) infection and latent effects such as postherpetic neuralgia. The herpes zoster vaccine is recommended in those 60 years of age and older and has been shown to prevent both the primary disease and associated complications. While this recommendation applies to those living in long-term care facilities, there is little clinical evidence to support use in this population. Additionally, there are logistical barriers that may complicate the use of the vaccine. The article examines the evidence for vaccinating residents in long-term care facilities and discusses logistical barriers to vaccination. Pharmacists and providers may consider life expectancy and other factors when evaluating which patients should receive the vaccination.
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Keywords: HERPES ZOSTER; IMMUNIZATION; LONG-TERM CARE FACILITY; SHINGLES; VACCINE

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Publication date: 01 January 2016

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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