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Trends in U.S. Community hospitalizations due to herpes zoster: 2001–2015

Pham, Matthew A., Bednarczyk, Robert A., Becker, Edmund R., Orenstein, Walter A., Omer, Saad B.
Vaccine 2019 v.37 no.6 pp. 882-888
Human herpesvirus 3, adults, children, hospitals, issues and policy, people, vaccination, vaccines, United States
In 2007, based on decisions by the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the CDC recommended a booster dose at 4–6 years in the varicella vaccine schedule. In 2008, a herpes zoster vaccine was recommended for use in persons age ≥60 years. The purpose of this study was to examine trends in herpes zoster hospitalization rates and assess the impact of both policy recommendations using U.S. hospital discharge data.Nationwide Inpatient Sample discharge data from 2001 to 2015 were used to identify primary or secondary herpes zoster diagnoses. Trends in annual total and age-specific herpes zoster hospitalization rates and average length of stay were examined. Average annual rates for the pre (2001–2005) and post (2012–2015)-zoster vaccine policy eras were compared. Absolute change in herpes zoster hospitalizations were calculated.The rate difference of U.S. herpes zoster hospitalizations in the post vs. pre-zoster vaccine policy era was −1.9 per 100,000 population (6,200 fewer hospitalizations in 2015 than expected). Key age group rate differences: 0–3 years (−0.4 per 100,000; 50 fewer), 4–6 years (−0.6 per 100,000; 50 fewer), 7–14 years (−1.3 per 100,000; 400 fewer), 50–59 years (0.7 per 100,000; 300 more), 60–69 years (−2.5 per 100,000; 900 fewer), 70–79 years (−10.2 per 100,000; 2,000 fewer), 80+ years (−29.9 per 100,000; 3,600 fewer).Reduction of wild-type varicella due to the 2-dose varicella vaccination recommendation may have impacted declining herpes zoster hospitalization rates among children ≤14 years. The 2008 herpes zoster vaccine may have impacted declining herpes zoster hospitalization rates for adults age ≥60 years despite vaccination coverage <31% by 2015.