Shingrix: Key differences from Zostavax that you should know

Shingrix is the new shingles vaccine on the block; and it has led to some confusion among healthcare providers.  This has led to a number of reported medication errors via the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).  Errors have included incorrect storage, wrong route of administration, and incorrect reconstitution. 

There are some key differences to make note of between Shingrix and the older Zostavax vaccine. First and foremost, Shingrix is not a live vaccine (Zostavax is live).  Shingrix is supplied as a 2-vial set containing 1 vial of lyophilized varicella zoster virus glycoprotein E antigen and a single dose vial of AS01B adjuvant suspension.  The antigen component must be reconstituted with the adjuvant suspension.  While the Zostavax virus was to be stored frozen, the new Shingrix vaccine is stored refrigerated between 36-46 F. 

Also, the route of administration differs in that Shingrix is given as an intramuscular injection while Zostavax is subcutaneous. Shingrix is given in 2 separate doses. The second dose is administered 2-6 months after the first dose. Shingrix is also now the preferred vaccine to prevent herpes zoster. 

Please contact Holladay Pharmacy at 1-800-848-3446 if you have questions regarding this new vaccine.  

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