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March 2013

Prevention of Herpes Zoster: We Need to Do Better

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: New York University School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131(3):396-398. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.588

Herpes zoster (HZ) is a common, serious, and preventable disease. Despite the approval of a safe and effective vaccine in 2006 for immunocompetent patients aged 60 years or older, underuse of this vaccine remains widespread.1,2 Understanding the barriers to recommended use and implementation of programs to overcome them is critically important in decreasing this often devastating disease. Somewhat surprisingly, the most important barrier is lack of a strong physician recommendation for this vaccine. We must do better so that physicians know about zoster and the vaccine against it and strongly recommend this vaccine to all their eligible patients.