HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Rome, Italy or Virtually from your home or work.

2nd Edition of Virology World Conference

21-22, 2023

June 21 -22, 2023 | Rome, Italy
Virology 2022

Zainab Alsharef

Speaker at Virology World Conference 2022 - Zainab Alsharef
GSK, Saudi Arabia
Title : Public Health Impact of Introducing an Adjuvanted Recombinant Zoster Vaccine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Immunosenescence due to ageing or an immunosuppressed condition may lead to the reactivation of latent varicella-zoster virus, resulting in Herpes Zoster (HZ), also called Shingles. Without vaccination, 30% of people will develop HZ during their lifetime.1,2 Recently, the adjuvanted recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) was approved for public market use in Saudi Arabia.


This study evaluated the public health impact (PHI) of introducing an adjuvanted RZV to the Saudi population ≥50 years of age (YOA) compared with no vaccination scenario.


The ZOster ecoNomic Analyses (ZONA) model was used to estimate the PHI of introducing RZV versus no vaccination. The base-case population considered a 2016 Saudi Arabia cohort of 4,424,203 individuals aged ≥50 YOA eligible for vaccination. In addition to this demographic survey, the United Nations population prospects for Saudi Arabia (≥85 YOA) in 2020 were used to calculate all-cause mortality probability. Calculations were based on HZ incidence data from a worldwide meta-regression.3 The proportion of post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) cases, general practitioner (GP) consultations and complications were obtained from a Saudi study.4 It was assumed a first-dose coverage of 80% and 70% compliance for the second dose of RZV.


Vaccination with RZV versus no intervention would avoid 502,506 HZ cases, 77,386 PHN cases, 19,899 complications and 659,144 GP consultations. Amongst the whole eligible population aged ≥50 YOA, the greatest PHI with RZV could be achieved in the 50–59 YOA age group. The estimated number needed to vaccinate to prevent 1 HZ case was 8 with RZV. The present study shows that vaccinating with RZV can alleviate some of the disease burden due to HZ in KSA.



1. Cohen JI. N Engl J Med. 2013; 369(3):255-63; 2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Division of Viral Diseases. Shingles. Updated June 26, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/about/index.html; 3. Curran D, Callegaro A, Fahrbach K, Neupane B, Vroling H, Van Oorschot D, Yawn BP. Infect Dis Ther. 2022;11(1): 389-403; 4. Abdullah H. Alkhenizan, Abdullah S. Binsaeedu, Abubakr O. Bajaber et al. Herpes Zoster in Saudi: A cohort Study. Submitted for publication, The Saudi Medical Journal, 2022.

This study was funded by GSK.



What will audience learn from your presentation?

(Try to list 3-5 specific items)

  • Raising awareness of adult vaccination including Recombinant Zoster Vaccine (RZV)
  • To always consider prevention “with vaccination” as a first option with older adults which is part of healthy aging concept
  • Practicing vaccination against HZ and its complication in population ≥50 years

The vaccinators (family medicine specialists and GPs) will be able to identify the importance of RZV in their practice based on the public health impact that have been demonstrated in our model


Dr. Zainab studied medicine & surgery at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA and graduated as physician in 2012. Joined the Saudi board of internal medicine at King Fahd General Hospital, Jeddah, KSA in 2013. She received her MSc in international health from Vrije University, The Netherlands in 2019. She joined GSK as Vaccines Medical Advisor in 2020.