New Herpes Zoster Vaccine Found Cost-Effective

Lisa Prosser, PhD presented an economic evaluation of a new vaccine for herpes zoster at a CHDS research seminar on November 9, 2017. Herpes zoster—more commonly known as shingles—presents a major burden for older Americans but, until recently, the only available vaccine (Zoster Vaccine Live, ZVL) was relatively ineffective past 10 years. A recently approved vaccine–herpes zoster subunit (HZ/su)–has shown efficacy at preventing shingles for significantly longer duration than ZVL.

Dr. Prosser’s team conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis to answer three questions: (1) is the new vaccine cost-effective compared to no vaccination; (2) is it cost-effective in those who have already received the old vaccine (ZVL); and (3) is it cost-effective when compared to ZVL (i.e., is it preferred to ZVL). They found cost-effectiveness in every case. The findings were presented to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), whose recommendations are generally followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue guidelines.

Dr. Prosser is an Adjunct Professor at CHDS and holds her primary appointment in the Departments of Pediatrics & Communicable Diseases (Medical School) and Health Management & Policy (School of Public Health) at the University of Michigan.

Learn more: New York Times: “No Excuses, People: Get the New Shingles Vaccine”