A Systematic Review of Herpes Zoster Vaccine Acceptance


      A high level of vaccine acceptance is an important requirement for successful vaccination programmes. Therefore, vaccine acceptance is a common criteria considered in national immunisation decision-making processes. This systematic review aimed to assess the acceptance of herpes zoster (HZ) vaccination among the target group (i.e. people aged 50 years and older) and physicians.


      A PubMed search was performed for identifying English and German language publications on studies assessing HZ vaccine acceptance published before June 2015. A study was included if it provided information on awareness, knowledge, attitudes and/or perceived barriers regarding HZ vaccination among people aged 50 years and older or physicians.


      After the study selection process, 15 studies remained to be included in the review. Ten of these studies investigated aspects of vaccine acceptance in the target group. Five studies concentrated on the perspective of physicians. Almost all studies used quantitative research methods; one study used a qualitative design based on focus group interviews. Most of the interviewed patients and physicians attached great importance to the HZ vaccine. However, when compared to influenza and pneumococcal vaccination, HZ vaccination was considered as a less important clinical priority by physicians. From the perspective of the target group, the primary care physician’s recommendation was a crucial factor in reaching a high level of vaccine acceptance. The main barriers of vaccine acceptance were the price of the vaccine, concerns about side effects and the perception of low risk of HZ.


      This review identified several factors influencing the acceptance of HZ vaccination. Successful implementation of HZ vaccination might depend on the health care provider’s attitude, the reimbursement of costs and the target group’s knowledge on HZ.