Long-term persistence of zoster vaccine efficacy

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 Mar 15;60(6):900-9. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu918. Epub 2014 Nov 20.


Background: The Shingles Prevention Study (SPS) demonstrated zoster vaccine efficacy through 4 years postvaccination. A Short-Term Persistence Substudy (STPS) demonstrated persistence of vaccine efficacy for at least 5 years. A Long-Term Persistence Substudy (LTPS) was undertaken to further assess vaccine efficacy in SPS vaccine recipients followed for up to 11 years postvaccination. Study outcomes were assessed for the entire LTPS period and for each year from 7 to 11 years postvaccination.

Methods: Surveillance, case determination, and follow-up were comparable to those in SPS and STPS. Because SPS placebo recipients were offered zoster vaccine before the LTPS began, there were no unvaccinated controls. Instead, SPS and STPS placebo results were used to model reference placebo groups.

Results: The LTPS enrolled 6867 SPS vaccine recipients. Compared to SPS, estimated vaccine efficacy in LTPS decreased from 61.1% to 37.3% for the herpes zoster (HZ) burden of illness (BOI), from 66.5% to 35.4% for incidence of postherpetic neuralgia, and from 51.3% to 21.1% for incidence of HZ, and declined for all 3 outcome measures from 7 through 11 years postvaccination. Vaccine efficacy for the HZ BOI was significantly greater than zero through year 10 postvaccination, whereas vaccine efficacy for incidence of HZ was significantly greater than zero only through year 8.

Conclusions: Estimates of vaccine efficacy decreased over time in the LTPS population compared with modeled control estimates. Statistically significant vaccine efficacy for HZ BOI persisted into year 10 postvaccination, whereas statistically significant vaccine efficacy for incidence of HZ persisted only through year 8.

Keywords: herpes zoster; herpes zoster burden of illness; herpes zoster vaccine; persistence of vaccine efficacy; postherpetic neuralgia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost of Illness
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Herpes Zoster / complications
  • Herpes Zoster / epidemiology
  • Herpes Zoster / prevention & control*
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine* / adverse effects
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / epidemiology
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / prevention & control
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine Potency


  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine