Shortage of shingles vaccine Shingrix frustrates patients - (San Francisco Chronicle via NewsPoints Desk)

  • US patients have expressed frustration regarding shortages of GlaxoSmithKline's shingles vaccine Shingrix, San Francisco Chronicle reported.

  • Although the drugmaker said it plans to increase the number of doses shipped this year to the "high teens millions," pharmacists expect the ongoing shortage to continue for several more months.

  • Experts noted that Shingrix is in short supply because it is more effective than Merck & Co.'s Zostavax and it is recommended for a larger patient group.

  • "I'm frustrated and disappointed," remarked Jeffrey Silvers, medical director of infectious diseases at Sutter Health, continuing "we just have to do the best we can and make sure patients understand just because we say we don't have it today doesn't mean they should stop looking for it and give up. It's a great vaccine, they just have to pay attention and keep in touch."

  • "We are deeply committed to Shingrix and are working to ensure that the vaccine will be available to individuals who need it," commented GlaxoSmithKline spokesman Sean Clement.

  • Sales of the vaccine reached $1 billion last year, topping expectations.

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