Background: This randomized, placebo-controlled study assessed the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of live virus zoster vaccine (ZV) in individuals receiving chronic/maintenance systemic corticosteroid therapy (daily dose equivalent of 5-20mg prednisone) for ≥2 weeks prior to vaccination and ≥6 weeks postvaccination.
Methods: Subjects were followed for adverse experiences (AEs), exposure to varicella or herpes zoster (HZ), or development of varicella/varicella-like or HZ/HZ-like rashes for 42 days postvaccination (primary safety follow-up period) and for serious AEs (SAEs) through Day 182 postvaccination (secondary follow-up period). Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) antibody titers by glycoprotein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (gpELISA) were measured at baseline and at Week 6 postvaccination.
Results: The proportions of subjects reporting systemic AEs and SAEs were similar in both groups. A higher percentage of subjects reported injection-site AEs in the ZV group (21.5%) than in the placebo group (12.1%). One SAE of ophthalmic HZ (onset Day 16 postvaccination) was reported in the ZV group and deemed vaccine-related by the study investigator; however, PCR testing confirmed the presence of wild-type (not vaccine strain) VZV. Geometric mean titer (GMT) at 6 weeks postvaccination was higher for ZV recipients than placebo recipients, with estimated geometric mean fold rises (GMFR) of 2.3 (CI: 2.0, 2.7) and 1.1 (CI: 1.0, 1.2) respectfully.
Conclusions: In adults ≥60 years old on chronic/maintenance corticosteroids, ZV was generally well tolerated and immunogenic. The VZV-specific gpELISA antibody GMT at 6 weeks postvaccination and the GMFR from baseline to 6 weeks postvaccination were higher in the ZV group than in the placebo group.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00546819.
Keywords: Herpes zoster; Immunogenicity; Safety; Tolerability; Zoster vaccine.
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