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"Shingles vaccine approved for use in U.S. but not here yet"

Toronto Star

Source: Toronto Star

Published: 03 Jun 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (3½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

A new vaccine against shingles has received U.S. regulatory approval but it's not clear when the product, Zostavax, will be available to Canadians, too.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week gave Merck & Co. Inc. the go-ahead for Zostavax.
Shingles, also called herpes zoster, strikes when the chickenpox virus reactivates and resumes reproducing after lying dormant, sometimes for decades, in nerve cells in the body. The vaccine is only for adults who previously have had chickenpox.
A spokesperson for Merck's Canadian subsidiary, Merck Frosst Canada Ltd., said it hopes to bring Zostavax to the Canadian market as well....

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 6 of 9
Availability of Treatment Not Applicable
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This article is a reasonably accurate story about a new vaccine designed to prevent the development of shingles in people who have previously had chickenpox. The one area of the article that could have been better developed is a discussion of the severity of symptoms that shingles causes. While it can cause considerable disability in some people others have relatively mild symptoms.

public forum

(26 Jul 2022) Malcolm Andrade from Retired writes,

"I too echo Louise Kelly's comment that I hope that Canada will soon O.K. the use of this vaccine. Both my wife and I have had chicken pox as children. We have seen what this scourge can do when it reasserts itself as Shingles, as her mother suffered terribly from her attack which lasted several months.


(this comment has been moderated)

(23 Jun 2022) Suzanne writes,

"Is the shingles vaccine now available in Canada, and specifically in Alberta?"

Media Doctor response,

"Yes it is."

(27 Jul 2022) Elaine Mulhern from home writes,

"Is the Shingle vaccine recommeded for people who have had recurring shingles attacks? Will it help them or could it harm them?"

(20 Jul 2022) Louise Kelly writes,

"When is Zostavax going to be available to us in Canada? I know quite a few people suffering badly from it & would like to get some protection from this horrible disease."

(13 Jul 2022) peopleweaver writes,

"My son age 42 has had two bouts of shingles, both times on face, pain has been severe.
Would having the injection of Merck's Anti-Shingle Vaccine Zostavax ( once it receives Canadian drug approval) prevent further outbreaks?"

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