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Kaiser Permanente Study Challenges Concerns on Effectiveness of Administering Pneumococcal & Shingles Vaccines Together
Date:5/11/2011

PASADENA, Calif., May 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Administering both the pneumococcal and the herpes zoster vaccines to patients during the same visit is beneficial and does not appear to compromise the protective effect of the zoster vaccine, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Vaccine.

The study's findings challenge information in the zoster vaccine manufacturer's package insert. This new information is important to patients who find it more convenient and less costly to receive both vaccines from their health care providers during the same visit.  

A revision to the zoster vaccine package insert, approved in 2009, stated that the zoster vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine should not be given together because such concurrent use reduced the ability of the zoster vaccine to generate an immune response.

"Our study found no evidence that receiving the zoster vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine on the same day would compromise the immune response necessary to protect against herpes zoster, also known as shingles," noted study lead author Hung Fu Tseng, PhD, MPH, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research & Evaluation in Pasadena, Calif.

The study was conducted from Jan. 1, 2007, to June 30, 2010, starting from the date of receipt of the zoster vaccine for two groups of Kaiser Permanente Southern California members, 60 years of age and older.  The incidence of herpes zoster after vaccination with a zoster vaccine in the population receiving both vaccines on the same day was compared to that in the population receiving a pneumococcal vaccine from one year to 30 days before the zoster vaccine. Vaccinations and the incidence of herpes zoster cases were identified by electronic health records.

Included in the study were two groups or cohorts:  7,187 people who received both vaccines at the same time and 7,179 people who received the two vaccines at dif
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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