Long-term persistence of zoster vaccine efficacy

Vicki A. Morrison, Gary R. Johnson, Kenneth E. Schmader, Myron J. Levin, Jane H. Zhang, David J. Looney, Robert Betts, Larry Gelb, John C. Guatelli, Ruth Harbecke, Connie Pachucki, Susan Keay, Barbara Menzies, Marie R. Griffin, Carol A. Kauffman, Adriana Marques, John Toney, Kathy Boardman, Shu Chih Su, Xiaoming LiIvan S.F. Chan, Janie Parrino, Paula Annunziato, Michael N. Oxman, L. E. Davis, C. A. Kauffman, S. K. Keay, S. E. Straus, N. E. Soto, P. Brunell, J. W. Gnann, R. Serrao, D. J. Cotton, R. P. Goodman, R. D. Arbeit, C. T. Pachucki, M. J. Levin, K. E. Schmader, W. A. Keitel, R. N. Greenberg, V. A. Morrison, P. F. Wright, M. R. Griffin, M. S. Simberkoff, S. S. Yeh, Z. Lobo, M. Holodniy, J. Loutit, R. F. Betts, L. D. Gelb, G. E. Crawford, J. Guatelli, P. A. Brooks, D. J. Looney, K. M. Neuzil, J. F. Toney, C. A. Kauffman, S. K. Keay, C. T. Pachucki, M. J. Levin, K. E. Schmader, V. A. Morrison, P. F. Wright, M. R. Griffin, R. F. Betts, L. D. Gelb, J. Guatelli, D. J. Looney, K. M. Neuzil, B. Menzies, J. F. Toney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

237 Scopus citations


Background. The Shingles Prevention Study (SPS) demonstrated zoster vaccine efficacy through 4 years postvaccination. A Short-Term Persistence Substudy (STPS) demonstrated persistence of vaccine efficacy for at least 5 years. A Long-Term Persistence Substudy (LTPS) was undertaken to further assess vaccine efficacy in SPS vaccine recipients followed for up to 11 years postvaccination. Study outcomes were assessed for the entire LTPS period and for each year from 7 to 11 years postvaccination. Methods. Surveillance, case determination, and follow-up were comparable to those in SPS and STPS. Because SPS placebo recipients were offered zoster vaccine before the LTPS began, there were no unvaccinated controls. Instead, SPS and STPS placebo results were used to model reference placebo groups. Results. The LTPS enrolled 6867 SPS vaccine recipients. Compared to SPS, estimated vaccine efficacy in LTPS decreased from 61.1% to 37.3% for the herpes zoster (HZ) burden of illness (BOI), from 66.5% to 35.4% for incidence of postherpetic neuralgia, and from 51.3% to 21.1% for incidence of HZ, and declined for all 3 outcome measures from 7 through 11 years postvaccination. Vaccine efficacy for the HZ BOI was significantly greater than zero through year 10 postvaccination, whereas vaccine efficacy for incidence of HZ was significantly greater than zero only through year 8. Conclusions. Estimates of vaccine efficacy decreased over time in the LTPS population compared with modeled control estimates. Statistically significant vaccine efficacy for HZ BOI persisted into year 10 postvaccination, whereas statistically significant vaccine efficacy for incidence of HZ persisted only through year 8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-909
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support. The study was conducted by the Cooperative Studies Program, Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Research and Development through an agreement between Merck & Co, Inc, and the VA Connecticut Research and Education Foundation (VACREF) under which funding was provided to VACREF by Merck & Co. Additional support was provided by the James R. and Jesse V. Scott Fund for Shingles Research, and by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.


  • Herpes zoster
  • Herpes zoster burden of illness
  • Herpes zoster vaccine
  • Persistence of vaccine efficacy
  • Postherpetic neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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