Shingrix: GSK’s New Shingles Vaccine Now In India


Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has recently launched a new vaccine Shingrix in India to protect against shingles, a painful skin condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The vaccine aims to prevent shingles (herpes zoster) and post-herpetic neuralgia in adults aged 50 years and above.

Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person has had chickenpox, the virus can remain dormant in their nerve cells for many years. As people age, their immune systems weaken, making them more vulnerable to the reactivation of the virus. When the virus reactivates, it causes a painful rash lasting for several weeks or even months. Shingles can also lead to complications such as postherpetic neuralgia, a persistent pain that can last for months or years after the rash has healed.

Shingrix is a recombinant subunit vaccine that works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies against the varicella-zoster virus. It is given in two doses, with the second dose administered two to six months after the first. Clinical trials have shown that Shingrix is highly effective in preventing shingles, with an efficacy rate of over 90%.

The launch of Shingrix in India is significant, as the country has a large population of elderly people who are at risk of developing shingles. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, the incidence of shingles in India is around 3.3 cases per 1000 people per year, which translates to around 4.5 million cases annually. The availability of a highly effective vaccine like Shingrix is expected to reduce the burden of this painful and debilitating condition in India.
The launch of Shingrix adds to GSK’s offerings in India and is expected to further strengthen the company’s position in the Indian healthcare market.

Overall, the launch of Shingrix in India is a positive development for the country’s healthcare sector. With a large population of elderly people at risk of developing shingles, the availability of an effective vaccine like Shingrix has the potential to prevent a significant amount of pain and suffering. As GSK continues to expand access to the vaccine around the world, it is hoped that more people will be able to benefit from this important medical advance.

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(The article is written by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor, and reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)


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