LYON, France, September 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Zostavax(R) shingles vaccine remains as part of the successful UK national
immunisation programme for the next two years.
Sanofi Pasteur MSD today announced that the Department of Health (DH) has recommended that Zostavax(R) should remain on the UK's national immunisation programme* to protect seniors from the significant burden of disease associated with shingles. UK adults aged 70 and 78 years old will continue to be offered Zostavax(R) as part of their adult vaccination schedule. Supply of this new tender will start in 2017 for at least two years.
"Sanofi Pasteur MSD is dedicated to raising awareness of shingles and the importance of senior vaccine programmes across Europe," said Andrea Rappagliosi, Vice President Market Access, Medical Affairs and Health Policy at Sanofi Pasteur MSD. "The renewal of the shingles immunisation programme for the UK is a demonstration of NHS England's commitment to healthy ageing for seniors and serves as a model for other countries in protecting against shingles," he added.
Zostavax(R) is an efficient and well-tolerated, one-dose vaccine supported by over 10 years of real-life evidence. The vaccine has been used for the national immunisation programme since September 2013. By the end of March 2016 just under half of eligible adults in the UK had been vaccinated against shingles, representing a significant achievement and opportunity to build upon for the upcoming season.
"Shingles is a painful and disruptive disease which can lead to severe complications and accelerates decline in health in senior populations," said Robert W Johnson, MD.,FRCA., FFPMRCA.,
Hon. Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Bristol, UK. "It's crucial that shingles vaccine coverage is as high as possible in the UK and across Europe to ensure the widest protection against the disease," he concluded.
UK disease coverage rates are an achievement but can be improved through ongoing efforts to identify and vaccinate all eligible individuals. A successful adult vaccination program relies on an effective vaccine that is easy to implement, ensuring it can be widely used in routine clinical practice.
Zostavax(R) is licensed in the UK and across Europe for the immunisation of adults over 50 years and is given as a single injection which supports vaccination adherence. Zostavax(R) has a well-established safety and tolerability profile from over 57,000 adults in clinical trials and over 32 million doses have been distributed worldwide since 2006, proving itself as an effective preventative measure available in a single dose with real-life experience in the primary care setting.,
Several European countries have recently decided to recommend and/or fund Zostavax(R), including Austria, Greece, UK and France, as well as some regions in Germany, Italy and Spain.
Shingles is a common and debilitating viral disease caused by the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus that can affect one in four people at some point in their lifetime.  Approximately 1.7 million new cases of shingles appear every year in Europe., The risk of developing shingles more than doubles after the age of 50 years, and 2/3 shingles cases occur after the age of 50 years.-
The WHO predicts that the number of people aged 60 years and over worldwide will increase to 2 billion by 2050. This growing senior population has a higher susceptibility to infectious diseases and associated complications that can be prevented through vaccination.
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Zostavax(R) is a live attenuated vaccine that appropriately boosts immune control of the dormant shingles virus, with 10 years of routine use in primary care providing strong evidence of effectiveness and good safety. The vaccine is designed to appropriately boost the varicella-zoster virus specific cellular immunity, which controls virus reactivation and/or replication.
It is the first available preventative means licensed in Europe against shingles and the long lasting nerve pain that may follow the disease, known as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). More than 32 million doses of Zostavax(R) have been distributed worldwide since 2006.
About Sanofi Pasteur MSD - http://www.spmsd.com
Sanofi Pasteur MSD is a European joint venture formed between Sanofi Pasteur (the vaccine division of Sanofi) and Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada). Combining innovation and expertise, Sanofi Pasteur MSD is the only European pharmaceutical company dedicated exclusively to the distribution of vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur MSD makes use of the combined expertise resulting from Sanofi Pasteur and Merck's research to focus on the development of new vaccines in Europe in order to produce the most effective, most acceptable and better tolerated vaccines.
* This announcement was made in the UK in July 2016 and, hence, this press release is not being released in the UK.
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Sanofi Pasteur MSD
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