Media Doctor Canada
Follow us on Twitter








"Shingles vaccine Zostavax arrives in Canada"


Source: CTV.CA

Published: 22 Sep 2022

Category: Pharmaceutical

Rating: (2 stars)

Keywords: shingles varicella zoster vaccine

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

Canadian seniors can now help protect themselves against the intensely painful condition called shingles by getting a vaccine that becomes available today.

Merck Frosst Canada's Zostavax, the first and only vaccine to help prevent shingles, is now available at clinics and doctors' offices in Canada...

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Not Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not 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)

The biggest downfall of this article was its exaggeration of the prevalence of shingles. While the tone of the article implies that everyone (at least those above 60 years of age) should get Zostavax vaccine, the article does not provide the baseline risk for elderly individuals. While it does say that "the pain affects almost 90 per cent of shingles sufferers", there is no mention of how many seniors actually develop it. According to the American CDC, shingles occurs less than 0.5 % annually in Americans and is associated with a lifetime risk of 1 in 3. FDA suggests 3 in 1000 people will be hospitalized and 1 in 60,000 will die from this disease.

While the story did include some important elements (i.e. cost and availability information), the inclusion of absolute risk reduction values and information on potential harms would have helped portray a more accurate picture of this potentially useful vaccine.

public forum

(03 Sep 2022) dsoulis, Nova Scotia writes,

"My 21 year old daughter just developed a case of shingles. She is diabetic type 1 as well. I can tell your audience who has not suffered from shingles or has seen someone who has personally, my daughter has immense pain and her left side covered in these red blisters. It is difficult to do anything including sleep.
I will ask her to follow up with her doctor about this vaccine after the shingles runs it course. I pray she will not experience the months of pain that some experience. I found very similar information and treatment on this site as well as a few others, thus I feel I can depend on the advise and treatments as recommended being accurate.
Thank you so much for posting. This information is reassuring along with the doctor's recommendations."

voice your opinion in the forum

  • All comments and feedback submitted to Media Doctor are subject to editorial approval before being made viewable by the public. It may take up to a week for your comments to be approved. Additionally, no response will be given to questions posed in public comments. Media Doctor does not provide medical advice, or answers to medical questions posed by the public.
  • If you provide your email address it will not be displayed to the general public.
  • Comments may be edited by Media Doctor to remove defamatory or sensitive statements, and brand names.
  • Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
Name: *
Comments: *
Copyright © Media Doctor Canada