Unlike the older herpes zoster vaccine that contains a live attenuated varicella virus, Shingrix is a non-live, recombinant subunit vaccine that combines a lyophilized varicella zoster virus glycoprotein E (gE) antigen and an adjuvant system.
It is administered in two doses of 0.5 mL each, with the second dose given 2–6 months after the initial dose.
It has been shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia. Its protective effect remains at 85% for at least 4 years after administration.
As a result, it is the preferred shingles vaccine over the live attenuated virus vaccine, which reduces the risk of herpes zoster by 51% and the risk of postherpetic neuralgia by 67%.