The Canadian health regulators Friday approved GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s vaccine to prevent shingles in those 50 years or older, the company’s Korean branch said.
Shingrix (herpes zoster vaccine) is administered intramuscularly in two doses to help prevent shingles, characterized by painful and blistering rashes. The condition results from the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chicken-pox.
One in three people are at risk of developing shingles in Canada, the British pharma giant said.
The vaccine garnered a unanimous vote for approval at a U.S. FDA advisory panel held last month and is also undergoing examination in the EU, Australia, and Japan. It is the only vaccine to reach a 90 percent efficacy in people over 50, the company said.
“One of the biggest challenges in vaccine research is to create vaccines that are effective in older adults who are at greater risk of certain diseases, like shingles,” said Thomas Breuer, senior vice president of the company’s vaccines unit. “GSK's Shingrix was specifically developed to overcome the age-related decline in immunity against the varicella-zoster virus.”
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