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Shingles and age

Age-related decline in immunity was shown to be the dominant driver of shingles 1

Age was shown to be the most important risk factor for the development of shingles. 1

2/3 of shingles cases occur in those over the age of 50. 2

Increasing age can cause a natural decline in immune system function. 1

Loss of VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity leads to viral reactivation, resulting in shingles. 1


  1. Harpaz R, et al., Prevention of Herpes Zoster. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Early Release 2008;57;RR-5.
  2. Government of Canada. Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 4 – Active Vaccines. Available at Accessed on November 30, 2017.