General Question

augustlan's avatar

Why aren't vaccines for all of the herpes viruses available?

Asked by augustlan (46645 points ) November 2nd, 2012

Since there is a chicken pox (which is a form of herpes) vaccine, why don’t we have vaccines for shingles, genital or oral herpes, and other related viruses?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

8 Answers

DigitalBlue's avatar

Last I heard, they are working on that.

filmfann's avatar

They are all related, but different. It’s like Cancer. They can cure some of them, but not all.

JLeslie's avatar

Chicken pox is varicella, the other viruses are different. I heard the same as @DigitalBlue that they are working on HSV1 and HSV2, but I heard it many many years ago. I have no idea what happened, or even if it was true. HPV (the wart related virus) obviously was more important because it causes cancer, and many many more people are exposed to HPV than HSV.

Also, varicella is contangious among the general population like measles and mumps, and people do get very sick or die from it sometimes. The other herpetic viruses are generally thought to be just a nuisance.

Buttonstc's avatar

You asked about a vaccine for Shingles.

There is a vaccine for Shingles. (reccomended for adults 50 and older; some say over 60. )

www.zostavax.com

JLeslie's avatar

I had missed that you mentioned shingles, I’m glad @Buttonstc mentioned it. If you are under a certain age you need your doctor to prescribe it from what I understand to get the vaccination at the drug store (might vary by state?). If your doc has the vaccine at his office he can give it to you. Shingles is the Varicella virus just like chicken pox as the link @Buttonstc provided states.

augustlan's avatar

What a weird coincidence…The day after I asked this Q, I went to my pharmacy to pick up some refills and noticed that they were offering the shingles vaccine. I had no idea it existed! I’ve had shingles (and chicken pox, of course), and wonder if the vaccine prevents future outbreaks. Shingles suck, and it would sure be nice to avoid them in the future. Thanks to you guys and Walgreens, I stand corrected! :)

@Rarebear Thanks for the info. It’s good to know these things are happening.

cutiepi92's avatar

I kinda agree with filmfann. It’s hard to cure everything, so science can only do so much. However, like you already know, there are vaccines for shingles.

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