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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. 1,3

Increasing age can cause a natural decline in immune system function. 2,3

Loss of VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity leads to viral reactivation, resulting in shingles. 2,3


  1. Government of Canada. Canadian Immunization Guide: Part 4 – Active Vaccines. Available at Accessed on November 30, 2017.
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. An Advisory Committee Statement (ACS), National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) – Updated Recommendations on the Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccines. Ottawa, Ontario: Public Health Agency of Canada; June 2018.
  3. SHINGRIX Product Monograph. GlaxoSmithKline Inc., June 3, 2020.