Health Care

Panel Recommends New Zoster Vaccine as First-Line Treatment

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted by a slim margin - eight to seven - in favour of GSK's vaccine, which was approved in the USA earlier this month and is a key component of the company's commercial strategy in the next few years with sales expected to exceed £1bn (around $1.4bn).

There were almost 7,000 cases nationally in 2006 and more than 6,000 a year ago.

The ACIP recommendation is for preventing herpes zoster and complications for immunocompetent adults age 50 and older, including those who have previously been immunized with Zostavax.

Also today, ACIP recommended that a third dose of MMR vaccine should be administered to people at increased risk in outbreak settings, such as at college campuses, which have been hit hard over the last several years.

According to a federal experts panel yesterday (25th October 2017), a third dose of mumps vaccine is recommended when there is an outbreak of the viral disease. That swelling is what causes a sick person's puffy cheeks and tender jaw.

The vote recommending a preference for Glaxo's vaccine over Merck's single-dose Zostavax was unusually close, 8-7.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner said the effectiveness of the vaccine "begins to wane slowly over 10 or 15 years".

"We're actually still hearing reports of outbreaks, and it's unclear at what time at what point these will end", Patel said.

More news: Why Some Houses Are Displaying Teal Pumpkins for Halloween

One of the differences in mumps outbreaks from measles and whopping cough outbreaks is that the latter two infections are seen among those who have not received any vaccination previously.

That suggests that the immunity people get from the vaccine wears off eventually. The actual number of cases was probably much higher but not always reported since most doctors considered the mumps a typical childhood disease.

Before the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, the CDC received reports of 186,000 cases each year.

The committee responsible for US vaccination schedules has given a preferential recommendation to GlaxoSmithKline's newly approved shingles vaccine Shingrix over Merck & Co's established product Zostavax.

The panel's recommendations are nearly always adopted by the CDC.

Shingles, a painful condition that causes blisters, occurs when the chickenpox virus resurfaces decades later, often when people are in their 60s or older.

And people who have already had shingles once can get the vaccine.



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