Whereas the live attenuated vaccine was recommended by the CDC for persons over age 60, the recombinant vaccine is recommended for healthy adults 50 years of age and older. Recombinant vaccine is recommended for patients who have had shingles in the past, as well as those who received the live attenuated vaccine in the past.
The CDC recommends that patients wait at least 8 weeks after receiving the live attenuated vaccine before getting the recombinant vaccine.
Although it is not the preferred shingles vaccine, the CDC still recommends the live attenuated vaccine for healthy adults 60 years and older to prevent shingles.
It still has a role in certain cases, such as when a person prefers the older vaccine, is allergic to the recombinant vaccine, or requests immediate vaccination and the recombinant vaccine is unavailable.