US Panel Strongly Recommends Shingles Vaccine

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MerckNEW YORK (Reuters) - Merck and Co. on Wednesday said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has unanimously recommended that Americans aged 60 and older receive the company's Zostavax vaccine to prevent shingles.

Merck said the recommendation for its product, which won U.S. marketing approval in May and costs about $150, will encourage doctors to use it and insurers to provide coverage for it.

Clinical trials have shown Zostavax reduces the risk of developing shingles by 51% and moderates symptoms in patients who do have outbreaks.