Image: ©Hollandse Hoogte

Vaccination against shingles

Shingles is a nasty disease that mainly affects older people. Severe nerve pain that can last for months occurs in small fraction of patients. A few years ago, the Health Council recommended against vaccination, because the only available vaccine at the time offered only limited protection. In the meantime a new vaccine has become available that can prevent nine in ten cases of shingles and that is suitable for people with immune deficiencies in principle. Protection appears to last long. This means that the Health Council has a favourable attitude towards vaccination of older people with this vaccine. However, the cost-effectiveness is unfavourable at the current vaccine price. According to the council, this should improve before large scale vaccination of older people is undertaken.