Quebec’s Committee on Immunization (CIQ) recommends preferential use of SHINGRIX for the prevention of shingles in adults aged 50 and up

MISSISSAUGA, ON – The Committee on Immunization of Quebec (Comité sur l’immunisation du Québec - CIQ) has recommended preferential use of SHINGRIX for the prevention of shingles.  

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox.i More than 90 percent of those over 50 years old have had chickenpox and are at risk for shingles. A person’s risk for shingles increases with age and an estimated 30% of Canadians will develop shingles in their lifetime.ii,iii,iv

According to the CIQ report, the average cost of shingles for the Quebec health system is approximately $25 million annually and about 27,000 cases of shingles, 600 hospitalizations and 10 deaths are caused by the disease each year.v

Dr. Susie Barnes, Vice President and Country Medical Director, GSK Canada said: “As our immune system ages, all of us become more vulnerable to shingles. SHINGRIX was developed specifically to overcome the age-related decline in immunity. The CIQ recommendation reflects the role SHINGRIX can play in reducing the incidence and overall burden of shingles in Quebec and is an important step forward for the prevention of shingles among Quebec residents who are at risk.”

SHINGRIX became available in Canada in January 2018 and is indicated for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in people aged 50 years or older.vi

About shingles

Shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox.vii

Shingles typically presents as a rash, with painful blisters across the chest, abdomen or face. The pain is often described as aching, burning, stabbing or shock-like. Following the rash, a person can also experience post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), pain that can last for months or years.ix PHN is the most common complication of shingles, occurring in up to 30 percent of all shingles cases.viii

Shingles affects an estimated 130,000 Canadians annually.v Incidence rates are similar throughout North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions.xiii Older adults and those with conditions that compromise the immune system have the greatest risk for developing shingles. Nearly all adult Canadians (>90%) have had chickenpox and are therefore at risk for shingles. An estimated 30% will develop shingles in their lifetime and the risk increases to 50% for those who live to 85 years of age.i,ix

About SHINGRIX

SHINGRIX [Herpes Zoster vaccine (non-live recombinant, AS01B adjuvanted)] is a non-live, recombinant subunit adjuvanted vaccine to help prevent herpes zoster (shingles) in adults 50 years of age and older. The vaccine is to be given intramuscularly in two doses with a two-to-six month interval between doses and combines an antigen (VZV glycoprotein E) and an adjuvant system (AS01B).ix

The Product Monograph, posted at www.ca.gsk.com, should be consulted for complete administration and safety information.

GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

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i Harpaz R, Ortega-Sanchez IR, Seward JF; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevention of herpes zoster: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2008 Jun;57(RR-5):1-30
ii National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). Statement on the Recommended use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine. January 2010, 36(ASC-1):1-19.
iii Brisson, M, et al. Modelling the impact of immunization on the epidemiology of varicella zoster virus. Epidemiol. Infect. 2000; 125, 651-669
iv CIG, 2014 Canadian Immunization Guide, accessed August 15, 2017.  http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/
publications/healthy-living-vie-saine/4-canadian-immunization-guide-canadien-immunisation/index-eng.php?page=8
v Comite sur l’immunisation du Quebec (CIQ). Avis sur la pertinence d’ajouter la vaccination contre le zona au Programme quebeois d’immunisation, accessed April 19, 2018. https://www.inspq.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/2381_pertinence_vaccination_zona_programme
_quebecois_immunisation.pdf
vi SHINGRIX Canadian Product Monograph, October 2017
vii Harpaz, et al. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2008; 57(5): 1-30. Prevention of herpes zoster: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
viii Kawai, et al. BMJ Open. 2014; 4(6). Systematic review of incidence and complications of herpes zoster: towards a global perspective.
ix The GSK proprietary AS01 adjuvant system contains QS-21 Stimulon® adjuvant licensed from Antigenics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), MPL and liposomes.