THE Shingrix vaccine Against the shinglesfrom pharmaceutical GSK, begins to reach private clinics in Brazil. Until then, the population relied only on the MSD immunizer, recommended for a different audience. So, some doubts as to the need for its application and its benefits have been quite common.
Metro World News spoke with Amanda Reis, immunization manager at Beep Saúde, a home health startup. The specialist clarified that now any adult over 18 years of age at greater risk of contracting the disease can take the new vaccine, but recalled that the differentials of the GSK immunizer do not stop there.
“Statistics show that the new inactivated vaccine, in addition to the safety profile, demonstrated efficacy rates above 90%. Furthermore, people with immunocompromise, that is, more susceptible to risk for the disease, did not have access to protection and, from now on, they become the target audience for vaccination, which until then was unfeasible with a vaccine. attenuated,” he said.
Amanda points out that all individuals who have some immunocompromise, whether due to illness or drug therapy, are at greater risk of developing herpes zoster and, therefore, should be vaccinated. People living with HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, using immunosuppressive drugs and transplant recipients, for example, are part of this group.
In general, people over 50, regardless of other medical conditions, are indicated to take the vaccine.
“With aging, it is natural for the immune system to also age and immune function to show a progressive decline. Therefore, over the years, the elderly are considered risk groups, that is, more susceptible to infections, and also start to have a reduced vaccine response. This natural condition is also known as immunosenescence”, explains the Beep manager.
Symptoms of Herpes Zoster
Herpes zoster causes blisters and redness that usually affect only one side of the body, following the path of a nerve. “This path that is drawn on the skin makes the design similar to a snake and, for this reason, the disease is popularly known as shingles”, explains Amanda.
The most affected regions are usually the trunk, back or belly, causing itching, pain, tingling or burning in the affected areas. In some cases there are complications and important organs can be affected, such as the eyes, which can lead to blindness.
“The biggest discomfort reported by patients is pain, which can last even after the lesions disappear, causing the well-known post-herpetic neuralgia”, he adds.
Worth the investment?
Vaccines against herpes zoster are not included in the PNI (National Immunization Program) and, therefore, can only be administered in private clinics. Its value, unfortunately, is not accessible to everyone. Complete immunization, with two doses, costs R$ 1,686.
For Amanda highlights that the decision to take the vaccine should be taken based on the dangers of the disease. “Considering the risks that shingles poses, such as blindness, chronic pain that hinders or often makes routine activities impossible, and, in some cases, the fact of not being able to sleep or even getting a simple touch, is certainly worth the investment.” opines.