People ≥50 years of age who have had a previous episode of herpes zoster can receive zoster vaccine at the recommended age.

The risk of a repeat episode of zoster is about 5% in immunocompetent people.10-12 In addition, a history of previous zoster may be inaccurate or a mistaken diagnosis. 

An episode of herpes zoster boosts cellular and humoral immunity above baseline levels in most people. Studies suggest that this boost persists for at least 1 year and up to 3 years.13

It is suggested that people should wait at least 1 year after an episode of herpes zoster before they receive zoster vaccine. However, this timing is unclear and studies have not established an optimal time.

Page history

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