Protective vaccination against herpes zoster (shingles)

According to the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the vaccination against herpes zoster with the Zostavax® vaccine has been recommended for people aged 65 to 79 years in Switzerland since the end of 2017.

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The virus has been dormant in the patient's body since an earlier chickenpox infection. Herpes zoster cannot be transmitted directly; it is always only a reactivation of an infection which occurred previously. The reactivation of the varicella zoster virus causes shingles.

In 70% of cases people do not experience any complications with shingles. Nevertheless, the virus is not to be underestimated and carries the risk of causing severe and often lengthy sequelae or complications.

Common complaints include spreading to the eye or across the entire face. An untreated ophthalmic infection (zoster ophthalmicus), for example, can lead to blindness, whereas in the case of the shingles of the ear (zoster oticus), the illness can damage the ear canal.

If you have any further questions, please contact your physician.

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