zoster vaccine, live

zoster vaccine, live

(zoe-ster vak-seen) ,


(trade name)


Therapeutic: vaccines immunizing agents
Pharmacologic: active immunizer
Pregnancy Category: C


Reduces the risk of shingles in patients ≥50 yr.


Boosts immunity by actively immunizing against the varicella-zoster virus.

Therapeutic effects

Reduced risk of shingles and its sequelae.


Absorption: Well absorbed following subcut administration.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile



Contraindicated in: History of anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions to gelatin, neomycin, or other vaccine components; Primary/acquired immunodeficiency states (including leukemia, lymphoma, AIDS); Concurrent immunosupressive medications (including high dose corticosteroids); Acute febrile illness (>38.5° C or 101.3° F; Active untreated tuberculosis; Obstetric: Pregnancy; Pediatric: Children.
Use Cautiously in: Obstetric: Child-bearing potential (pregnancy should be avoided for 3 mo following vaccination); Obstetric: Lactation.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • swelling
  • redness
  • pain
  • swelling


Drug-Drug interaction

Concurrent immunosupressants including antineoplastics and high dose corticosteroids may ↓ response to and ↑ risk of adverse reactions.Pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax 23) may ↓ response; do not administer concomitantly.


Subcutaneous (Adults ≥50 yr) 0.65 mL (contents of 1 vial).


Lyophylized powder for injection (with diluent): at least 19,400 PFU/0.65 mL

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess patient for immunosuppressant medications or reactions to previous vaccines. Administration may result in a more extensive vaccine-associated rash or disseminated disease in immunocompromised patients.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Risk for infection (Indications)


  • Subcutaneous: Reconstitute using only diluent supplied. Use a separate sterile needle for reconstitution and administration. Vaccine is stored frozen; reconstitute immediately upon removing from freezer. Store diluent at room temperature. Withdraw entire contents of diluent into syringe and inject into vaccine vial. Agitate gently to mix. Solution should be semi-hazy to translucent, off-white to pale yellow. Do not administer solutions that are discolored or contain particulate matter. Administer only subcut, preferably in the upper arm. Have epinephrine injection available in case of anaphylactic reactions.
    • Discard vaccine if not used within 30 min of reconstitution. Do not freeze reconstituted solution.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Explain purpose of vaccine to patient. Provide patient with a copy of the Patient Information Sheet.
  • Advise patient to notify health care professional if pregnancy is planned or expected. Pregnancy should be avoided for 3 mo after administration of vaccine.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Reduced risk of shingles and its sequelae.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
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