History of Vaccines Blog

Chickenpox Vaccine and Shingles Risk

June 13, 2019

When I was 4 or 5 years old, in the early 1980s, I contracted chickenpox (also known as varicella). I remember the days that I spent home feeling sick and covered in pocks because my parents decided that it would be a good idea to invite all my cousins to come over and get exposed. The house was soon filled with over a dozen children my age, and I couldn’t join them in playing because I was sick while they were running around, laughing and playing. A few days later, I felt better, but almost all of my cousins went down with the disease.

New Shingles Vaccine Approval and Recommendations

December 12, 2017

Shingles on Face
Shingles on face, Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

Phase 3 Trial of Recombinant Shingles Vaccine Shows Promise in Older Adults

July 15, 2015

Shingles on face and in mouth, 1835The herpes zoster vaccine commercially available in the United States (Zostavax, Merck, generic zoster vaccine live) is 51% effective at preventing shingles in adults ages 60 and older, but it is less effective for older adults. For those over age 70, it is only 38% effective at preventing disease.

Philadelphia Study Examines Varicella and Herpes Zoster

April 30, 2012

Chickenpox lesions on back. Wellcome Collection, London.By Thomas Fekete, MD, FCPP, Section Chief, Infectious Diseases; Professor, Medicine; Associate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology; School of Medicine, Temple University

From ID Week: Adult Immunization Barriers and Promoters

October 9, 2014

How is the immune system similar to your marathon time? As we age, our immune response decreases at the same slope that our marathon race times increase. Presenters described this and some of the other problems of immunizing adults in the Symposium on Adult Immunizations, an early session at the Infectious Diseases Society 2014 conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center.