It is not necessary to have serological evidence of immunity to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) or a history of previous varicella infection before administering either zoster vaccine in immunocompetent people. More than 97% of people in Australia are seropositive to VZV by 30 years of age,34 even if they cannot recall having varicella at a younger age.
Serological testing is not required before administration of Shingrix in people who are immunocompromised or shortly expected to be immunocompromised.
Zoster vaccine effectively boosts humoral and cellular immune responses from prior infection. For people known to be VZV-seronegative, varicella vaccine is preferred over a zoster vaccine. However, in studies3,5,35-37 of both zoster vaccines given to VZV-seronegative people there were no safety or immunogenicity concerns.
The Department of Health and Aged Care acknowledges First Nations peoples as the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures, and to all Elders both past and present.