Merck vaccine effective in preventing shingles

An experimental vaccine developed by Merck and poised for FDA approval helped cut the occurrence and severity of shingles, according to new trial data printed in the New England Journal of Medicine. Of the more than 38,000 people who participated in the study, there were 315 cases of shingles among the group taking the vaccine compared to 642 cases among the group receiving a placebo. And the group that took the vaccine and still developed the skin and nerve infection experienced a significant reduction in the severity of the attack. All of the people in the study were over 60, the age most threatened by shingles. Merck says it hopes to get an approval of the vaccine by February.

- read this article from The New York Times on the study