FDA Approves Shingles Vaccine for Ages 50-59

Date: July 19, 2011

Zostavax, the vaccine manufactured by Merck & Co. to prevent shingles, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for adults ages 50 to 59 years old. Previously, the vaccine had been approved only for adults 60 and older. The widened age group eligible to receive Zostavax is based upon clinical trial data that shows it reduced the risk of outbreaks by 70 percent in adults in that age range. The company says it is investing more than $1 billion to increase manufacturing capacity of Zostavax and other vaccines.