Saturday, May 27

Another vaccine arrives, that of Herpes Zoster: For whom and why?

Another vaccine arrives, that of Herpes Zoster: For whom and why?

Spain is going to start a new vaccination program in a few months. In this case it is immunization against Herpes Zoster thatAccording to Ismael Huerta, head of surveillance Vaccination Advisory Committee of the Principality – at whose meeting this new immunization was reported today – “We have been trying to achieve this for a long time.”

Spain has reached a centralized purchase agreement that will make it possible to start with the highest priority vaccination, which would be that of people of legal age (from 18 years old) with serious immunosuppression situations. In a second phase, when the availability of vaccines is greater, the intention of national experts is that this vaccination reaches all those over 65 years of age.

Everything related to this immunization has been addressed in a working group of the Vaccination Registry and Program Report. And the ones that follow are the main indications of these experts.

What disease are we talking about?

Herpes zoster (HZ) is a very prevalent disease, with a higher incidence after 50 years and in women, increasing with age and, considerably, with the presence of immunosuppression and certain risk conditions. It is a disease caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV). More than 90% of adults have been infected with VZV and therefore can develop Herpes Zoster. The risk of HZ is estimated to be around 30% throughout life, and can reach 50% in people aged 85 years or older.

What symptoms do you have?

The first symptoms are usually itching, tingling, or severe burning or shooting pain in the area of ​​the skin where the varicella zoster virus was latent. After a few days a rash appears, which is usually accompanied by pain in the same area and lasts between 2 and 4 weeks. The dermatomes most frequently affected are those innervated by the spinal sensory ganglia and by the ophthalmic branch. The pain and discomfort can last for weeks, months, or even years.

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It is mortal?

It has a low mortality, but the complications that it can present, especially post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), can cause disability and reduce the quality of life, thus constituting a significant burden for society, both due to the direct costs of care health care (primary care, specialized consultations, hospital admissions, pharmacological prescriptions) as well as the loss of productivity in younger people and of caregivers in older patients.

Why does it worry?

Among other things, because in addition to the social and economic cost that is now attributed to it, an increase in incidence is expected due to the aging of the population and the increasing number of people with comorbidities and immunosuppression.

Who is going to be vaccinated?

The recommendation made by experts is that vaccination be incorporated in people with the following risk conditions:

-From 18 years of age, as soon as dose is available. Taking into account the progressive availability, people with:

-AND As more vaccines become available, the systematic incorporation of the general population in the cohort 65 years and older is requested. Depending on the availability of doses, at least one cohort per year will be captured and vaccinated, starting with the cohort that turns 80 years old and descending in age until reaching the first cohort that was vaccinated at 65 years old.

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