New shingles vac­cine bet­ter than last

South Shore Breaker - - Health& Wellness - HEALTH, NAT­U­RALLY info@dr­col­in­macleod.com

DR. COLIN MACLEOD, ND Shingles is a vi­ral in­fec­tion, which af­fects nerves and leads to a painful skin rash.

Al­most any area of the body could be af­fected by the shingles rash in­clud­ing the legs, back, chest, arms or face.

If you ask a per­son who’s had shingles, they will likely tell you that it is one of the worst pains they have ever ex­pe­ri­enced.

Shingles pain can in­deed be in­tense and last for months or even years.

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment of Canada, one in three Cana­di­ans will get shingles in their life­time.

There is no cure for shingles and for this rea­son there is a large fo­cus put on ef­fec­tive strate­gies for pre­vent­ing the in­fec­tion.

You are more likely to get shingles if you are more than 50 years of age or have a sup­pressed im­mune sys­tem, which could be caused by cer­tain im­mune sup­press­ing drugs, HIV or cancer, says the gov­ern­ment of Canada.

Up un­til re­cently, only one vac­cine has been avail­able to Cana­di­ans for the pre­ven­tion of shingles.

This vac­cine, Zostavax, re­duces the risk of get­ting shingles by about 50 per cent among peo­ple who take it. Within the past year, a new shingles vac­cine, Shin­grix, was re­leased.

Thank­fully, the re­search emerg­ing over the past year has been sug­gest­ing that this vac­cine is more ef­fec­tive than Zostavax.

A new, large-scale re­view study has been pub­lished on Shin­grix, the new shingles vac­cine, which helps to clar­ify its safety and ef­fec­tive­ness.

This study, pub­lished in Oc­to­ber in the jour­nal BMJ, re­viewed the re­sults from more than 27 unique stud­ies and two mil­lion pa­tients who re­ceived the Shin­grix vac­cine.

The re­sults of the study il­lus­trated that the Shin­grix vac­cine is 85 per cent more ef­fec­tive than the Zostavax vac­cine for the pre­ven­tion of shingles. The safety of the two vac­cines was also found to be sim­i­lar.

There was no dif­fer­ence in the rate of se­ri­ous ad­verse ef­fects be­tween the two, how­ever, there was a higher rate of discomfort among the peo­ple who re­ceived the Shin­grix vac­cine.

Con­sid­er­ing the large size of this re­view study, these find­ings strongly sup­port us­ing the newer Shin­grix vac­cine over the older Zostavax vac­cine.

“There haven't been any head-to-head stud­ies com­par­ing the two shingles vac­cines, so the re­sults from our sys­tem­atic re­view can be em­ployed by pol­icy mak­ers, clin­i­cians, and pa­tients to make their de­ci­sions on the use of these vac­cines,” states Dr. An­drea Tricco, a sci­en­tist with St. Michael’s Hospi­tal’s and as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Pub­lic Health, in an ar­ti­cle.

Con­sid­er­ing that a third of Cana­di­ans con­tract shingles in their life­time and the dis­abling pain that comes with the in­fec­tion, the Shin­grix vac­cine should be se­ri­ously con­sid­ered by any­one older than 50.

123RF

Ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment of Canada, one in three Cana­di­ans will get shingles within their life­time.Dr. Colin Macleod ND is a natur­o­pathic doc­tor prac­tic­ing full-time in Up­per Tan­tallon at Macleod Natur­o­pathic. His prac­tice fo­cuses on pain man­age­ment and main­tain­ing health through phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and diet. Visit him on­line at dr­col­in­macleod.com.

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