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Safety of Zostavax-A cohort study in a managed care organization

BACKGROUND: Zostavax is a live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus vaccine indicated for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles). An observational post-licensure (Phase IV) study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), a US managed care organization, to assess the safety of zoster vaccine in people 60 years of age or older, vaccinated in routine medical care. METHODS: We performed a cohort study, comparing rates of clinical events resulting in hospitalizations or emergency department visits in a 42-day risk time period immediately following vaccination with rates in the same cohort in a subsequent comparison time period. The study data were reviewed and interpreted by an external safety review committee of 3 independent experts. RESULTS: Approximately 29,000 people >/= 60 years of age were vaccinated with zoster vaccine from July 2006 to November 2007. Of the 386 comparisons performed for the main analysis, 4 had an increased relative risk with a nominal p-value

Authors: Baxter R; Tran TN; Hansen J; Emery M; Fireman B; Bartlett J; Lewis N; Saddier P

Vaccine. 2012 Oct 19;30(47):6636-41. Epub 2012 Sep 8.

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