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Sir.—Since January 1972, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, has provided the investigational drug zoster immune globulin (ZIG) to more than 1,000 immunodeficient children within 72 hours of exposure to varicella (chickenpox). Preliminary data suggest that ZIG, which is prepared from the plasma of healthy donors convalescing from herpes zoster infection (shingles) or varicella, is effective in preventing or modifying varicella infection in immunodeficient patients if it is administered shortly after exposure.
Unfortunately, the supply of ZIG has been intermittent because the number of plasma donors has been insufficient to meet the increasing number of requests. In an attempt to meet this increasing demand, CDC has contracted with the Sidney Farber Cancer Institute and State Laboratory Institute of the Massachusetts State Department of Public Health to provide and distribute a supply of varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG), prepared from pooled plasma containing high titers of varicella antibody.
IMMUNIZATION DIVISION . Zoster Immune Globulin and Varicella-Zoster Immune Globulin. Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(6):640. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120310104028