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  • Zoster (Shingles)
  • Immunocompromised Adults

My patient recently underwent a hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) and his oncology team plans to maintain him on antiviral therapy with valacyclovir for the next 12 months. When should he receive Shingrix?

Valacyclovir, acyclovir, and famciclovir are antiviral medications that are active against herpesviruses, including varicella zoster virus. The risk of shingles risk is reduced during antiviral treatment. Since Shingrix is not a live virus vaccine, Shingrix may be administered while patients are taking antiviral medications if indicated.

A patient who is taking a prophylactic antiviral for a fixed period of time while their immune system recovers from HCT, should ideally initiate vaccination with Shingrix about 2 months prior to discontinuation of antiviral therapy.

Regardless of the duration of antiviral therapy after HCT, CDC recommends that autologous HCT recipients wait at least 3 months after transplant before initiating Shingrix vaccination. Allogenic HCT recipients should wait at least 6 months after transplantation. For additional details on timing after HCT, see

Last reviewed: March 9, 2022

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