People ≥50 years of age who are household contacts of a person who is, or is expected to become, immunocompromised are recommended to receive zoster vaccine. This indirectly protects the immunocompromised household member from exposure to varicella-zoster virus (VZV). However, because the efficacy of zoster vaccine is around 40–65%, the vaccinated household member may still develop herpes zoster from wild-type VZV. 

The rate of VZV-like rashes from the vaccine virus is very low. It is unlikely that vaccine-associated virus would be transmitted from a recently vaccinated person to a susceptible immunocompromised contact.1

If a vaccinated person develops a varicella- or zoster-like rash, they should: 

  • cover the rash 
  • avoid contact with people who are immunocompromised until the rash clears 

Page history

Last updated: 
5 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
5 June 2018