Physicians are hopeful a new vaccine for shingles for adults will eventually help children in preventing another illness.
Many doctors have been using Merck's Zostavax vaccine to prevent shingles, but some people object because the vaccine is derived from a line of cells from a baby aborted in the 1960s. Now, GlaxoSmithKline has produced Shingrix, an optional vaccine that doesn't use the aborted baby fetal cells. Dr. Patricia June, a spokesperson for the American College of Pediatricians, spoke to OneNewsNow about the new vaccine.
"They genetically modified a Chinese hamster ovarian cell culture, so it's completely animal-related," she says.
According to June, another concern with Zostavax was that it contained aluminum to boost the power of the vaccine. Shingrix, she notes, doesn't use aluminum. In addition, says June, Shingrix is much more effective than the old vaccine.
"The original Zostavax is only about 50 percent effective, whereas [Shingrix] is 97 percent effective in adults who are over 50 years old, and just a little less than that in those over 70 years," she explains.
Shingles is caused by the varicella virus, which also causes chicken pox in children. The American College of Pediatricians is hopeful the pharmaceutical corporation will begin research on the use of Shingrix for children.
The vaccine will become available for adults in late November.