STIKO recommends vaccination against shingles

The Standing Committee on vaccination (STIKO) recommends that all persons aged 60 and over the shingles-vaccination with an Inactivated vaccine as the standard vaccine. The new recommendation published by the Robert Koch Institute in the current Epidemiological Bulletin.

Persons with underlying disease or immune weakness, the STIKO recommends vaccination from the age of 50 years. The vaccination with the Inactivated vaccine, since 2018 is the duty performance of the Statutory health insurance funds, as soon as the Federal Joint Committee has decided on the inclusion in the vaccination policy. This can take up to three months.

In Germany, there are two vaccines against shingles: since 2013, a live vaccine, and since 2018 to the recommended Inactivated vaccine. The live vaccine is not recommended by the STIKO, because of the limited efficacy and its limited duration of action for the standard vaccination. In addition, it is not suitable for people with a weakened immune system.

The vaccination with the Inactivated vaccine twice at an interval of at least two up to a maximum of six months and administered. According to the RKI, the vaccination is safe: In the pivotal studies, no serious side effects. Local reactions such as pain at the injection site, redness and swelling as well as fever, fatigue, muscle and headaches occur approximately every tenth vaccinated Person. The Symptoms, however, are of short duration and to keep a maximum of two days.

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster Virus. Typical for the clinical picture of a burning pain, followed by a rash – often in the lumbar region. A dreaded complication after Healing of the blisters is a severe nerve pain that can persist for several months to years.