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vaccination against zoster

Jack M. Bernstein, M.D. Bernstein at WSU-ID.Dayton.OH.US
Mon Apr 10 22:18:32 EST 1995

In article <199504092316.IAA18289 at patton.gate.asahi-net.or.jp> DG4Y-KN at ASAHI-NET.OR.JP (Yoichiro Kino) writes:
>From: DG4Y-KN at ASAHI-NET.OR.JP (Yoichiro Kino)
>Subject: vaccination against zoster
>Date: 9 Apr 1995 16:17:50 -0700

>I understand that several attempts were made to immunize the elderly with
>live varicella 
>vaccine.  Although  augmentation of immunities was noted by the vaccination
>in those studies, 
>clinical efficacy of the vaccination against zoster has been unclear.  Dose
>anyone know a paper 
>reporting clinical efficacy of varicella vaccine against zoster in the elderly?
>Yoichiro Kino, Ph.D.
>The Chemo-Sero-Therapeutic Research Institute

It would be unlikely that this would work very well. Elderly patients who are 
prone to Zoster usually have quite adequate levels of antibodies against 
Zoster, from previous exposure to Varicella. IF you were to immunize them with 
live varicella vaccine (just becoming available in the US but available in 
Japan for years), you might predict that the vaccine wouldn't "take" due to 
pre-existing neutralizing antibodies. Another problem is that Zoster is quite 
sporadic and a trial would take years of surveillance and thousands of 
vilunteers, just to wait for the occasional occurence of Zoster.

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