Minimize the Burden of Illness from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases for All People in Connecticut.

Estimated zoster vaccination coverage among adults 60 years of age or older.


Line Bar
Story Behind the Curve

Varicella Zoster virus persists in sensory nerve ganglia after chickenpox and can result in a recurrent herpes zoster infection referred to as shingles. Post herpetic neuralgia is a distressing complication of shingles with pain persisting for a year or longer. The ocular nerve and other organs can be involved with severe complications including vision loss. Two vaccines are currently licensed to prevent shingles in the United States. Zoster vaccine live (ZVL, Zostavax) has been in use since 2006. Recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV, Shingrix), has been in use since 2017 and is now recommended by ACIP as the preferred shingles vaccine.  CDC recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older receive two doses of the RZV vaccine. 

Data on zoster vaccine in adults is collected from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). During 2020, 42.1% (95% CI: 39.7-44.5) of CT adults 60 years of age and older reported ever having had the shingles vaccine.  In 2020, CT shingles vaccine coverage exceeded the US rate somewhat at 40.5% (95% CI: 39.9-41.1), the Healthy People 2020 goal of 30%, and the Healthy Connecticut 2020 goal of 20.2%. Before 2017, data on shingles vaccine coverage was last collected in 2014.  The increase in coverage that occurred between 2014 and 2017 occurred despite a ZVL vaccine shortage that started in 2017.

Confidence intervals can be seen by hovering over each data point.

These data are current as of Feb 2023.


DPH Immunization Partners

Shingles-specific Initiatives: The Institute for Community Research, UCONN Health Center on Aging and Department of Immunology, North Central Agency on Aging

Government: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CT Department of Social Services/Community Health Network (CHN), CT Department of Children and Families, CT Local Health Departments/Districts, Tribal Governments, Health Departments from other states, Emergency Response and Public Health Preparedness

Organizations and Coalitions: Connecticut Vaccine Advisory Council (CVAC), Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Foundation for Children, CT American Lung Association, American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA), Every Child By Two, Association of Immunization Managers (AIM), American Cancer Society

Business and Industry: Pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines, Immunization Information System (IIS) vendors, electronic health record (EHR) vendors, insurance companies

Health Care: Private and public providers, community health centers, school based health centers, hospitals

Education: Daycares, schools and colleges, Board of Nursing, State Department of Education, Yale School of Public Health

Community Services: CT Department of Social Services, Community Health Network (CHN), Local WIC Offices, tribal services, services for immigrants and refugees, homeless shelters and programs, domestic violence shelters and programs, Hispanic Health Council, Maternal Infant Outreach Program - City of Hartford Health and Human Services (MIOP) , Family Strides, Head Start, Healthy Start, Nurturing Families, Connections, Mom’s Project, Positive Parenting, Project Mother Care, Reach out and Read, Birth to Three, libraries, churches, Community Health Center Family Wellness Center/New Britain, Weston Women’s League, Human Resources Agency of New Britain (HRA), Family and Children’s Agency (FCA) of Norwalk, Spanish Speaking Center, United Way

The Public: Parents and the general public

What Works

The Community Preventive Services Task Force and the National Vaccine Advisory Committee recommend that health care providers incorporate vaccination needs assessment, recommendation and offer of vaccination into every clinical encounter with adult patients to improve vaccination rates and narrow the widening racial/ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage. Increase access to vaccination services and remove administrative and financial barriers to vaccination and targeted assessment of practice level vaccination rates with feedback.

Action Plan

Educate medical personnel and the general public on the importance of adult vaccines in preventing serious vaccine preventable diseases. Increase the use of electronic health records and Immunization Information Systems to collect and track adult immunization data.

Encourage the use of 317 funds for herpes zoster vaccines in Community Health Centers that provide services to underserved populations.

Participate in shingles grant meetings for research project to explore barriers to herpes zoster vaccination.

Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy