FDA approves better vaccine against painful shingles virus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

FDA approves better vaccine against painful shingles virus

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A new, more effective vaccine to prevent painful shingles has been approved by U.S. regulators.

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline said the Food and Drug Administration approved it late Friday. It will be the second vaccine for shingles, which is caused by the chickenpox virus. Merck has sold a shingles vaccine for about a decade.

Studies paid for by Glaxo indicate its vaccine is more effective, preventing shingles in about 90 percent of people. Merck's vaccine is about 50 percent effective. Both are approved for adults 50 years and older.

About one-third of people who have had chickenpox get shingles. The virus reappears years later, triggering a painful rash and sometimes nerve pain that lingers for months.

Glaxo said the price of Shingrix (SHING'-ricks) without insurance will be $280 for two doses.

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