Incidence of Herpes Zoster in Pediatricians and Family Practitioners Estimation of Efficacy of Varicella Vaccine for Protection Against Herpes Zoster in the Elderly
To know whether the varicella vaccine can be used for protection against herpes zoster, we investigated the incidence of herpes zoster in pediatricians, who are thought to be boostered in specific cellular immunity by reexposure to varicella-zoster virus (VZV). We sent questionnaires to 500 pediatricians in their fifties and sixties in Japan concerning their past history of herpes zoster, their physical condition, reexposure to VZV and so on. Thirty-four of 344 pediatricians had a past history of herpes zoster. The incidence per 100,000 person-years of herpes zoster was 65.2 in those in their fifties and 158.2 in those in their sixties, which are 1/2 to 1/8 of other reports regarding a general population. We can speculate that varicella vaccine may protect against herpes zoster, because the varicella vaccine can enhance VZV-specific cellular immunity such as the immunity in pediatricians.