Early examination of real-world uptake and second-dose completion of recombinant zoster vaccine in the United States from October 2017 to September 2019

Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2021 Aug 3;17(8):2482-2487. doi: 10.1080/21645515.2021.1879579. Epub 2021 Apr 13.


Shingrix (Recombinant zoster vaccine, RZV) was approved in October 2017 in the United States (US) for the prevention of herpes zoster in adults aged 50 years and older. The vaccine is administered in two doses, with the second dose administration recommended between two and six months after the first dose. Examination of uptake and series completion is important to ensure appropriate use, especially at the time of vaccine introduction. This report provides demographic characteristics of patients receiving RZV between October 2017 and September 2019, first- and second-dose uptake, and a cumulative estimation of second-dose completion by month for US adults aged 50 years and older. Monthly uptake increased rapidly since October 2017; overall, 7,097,441 first doses of RZV were administered along with 4,277,636 second doses during the observed timeframe. Among people with an observed first-dose administration, 70% and 80% completed the two-dose series within six and 12 months post initial dose, respectively. This evidence suggests that RZV has rapidly been adopted by a large population in the US and most are following manufacturer or policy recommendations regarding series completion. Further analyses are needed to explore potential patient, provider, and policy-relevant characteristics associated with second-dose completion that could serve as targets for further improvement.

Keywords: Herpes zoster; immunization; postherpetic neuralgia; public health; recombinant zoster vaccine; shingles; vaccine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine*
  • Herpes Zoster* / prevention & control
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • United States
  • Vaccines, Synthetic


  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine
  • Vaccines, Synthetic

Grants and funding

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA funded this study (GSK study identifier: HO-18-19056) and was involved in all stages of study conduct, including analysis of the data. GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals SA also paid all costs associated with the development and publication of this manuscript.