Note to pharmacists:
The following Pharmacy Protocols for Immunization are reviewed yearly. Generally, updates are made as new recommendations are published by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Regarding Zostavax® and Adults age 50 and older:
Update based upon the August 22, 2014 MMWR
On August 22, 2014 ACIP made the following determinations:
- Not to recommend Zostavax for persons <60 years of age.
- The burden of herpes zoster increases with age, especially after age 60.
- Adults receiving herpes zoster vaccine before age 60 years might not be protected when the risks for herpes zoster and its complications are the highest.
- Vaccination at age 60 years would prevent the most shingles cases (26,147 per 1 million persons).
- The protection of herpes zoster vaccine wanes within the first 5 years after vaccination.
- Booster doses have not been studied.
- The CDC is actively monitoring data on duration of vaccine protection in adults vaccinated at age ≥60 years. As additional data become available, ACIP will reevaluate the optimal age for vaccination and the need for revaccination.
- Zostavax is covered by some Medicare Part D policies for patients ≥65 years of age. Oregon Medicaid covers zoster vaccine for those age 60 and older. Other insurance companies may not cover the cost of Zostavax, especially for indications (e.g., <60 years of age) that lie outside of ACIP recommendations.
Certified immunizing pharmacists in the state of Oregon are now eligible to apply for the Uniform Stamp and Yellow Fever Center Agreement. More information on administering Yellow Fever and other travel vaccines can be found on the Yellow Fever resource page.
Please read through all the protocols carefully. If you decide to change any part of them, your changes must be submitted in writing to Jeanine Whitney and approved by the OHA Immunization Program.
If you have any questions about these revised protocols, please call Jeanine Whitney at (971) 673-0281.
These issues are PDF files that require Adobe Reader software to be read and printed.