Release Date: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Expiration Date: Friday, August 7, 2015

The Burden of Herpes Zoster Infection
The lifetime risk of developing herpes zoster infection (shingles) has been estimated to be approximately 30%. About 20% who get shingles develop post-herpetic neuralgia, a long-lasting pain that is difficult to treat. As the population ages, the number of cases of herpes zoster infection is expected to increase.

The herpes zoster vaccine provides an effective and important tool for disease prevention. Yet, barriers to immunization have played a significant factor in limiting its use and effectiveness in preventing disease. Healthcare providers, including primary care, community pharmacists and hospital clinicians, can play a critical role in screening patients and administering the herpes zoster vaccine as a means to improve vaccination rates. To accomplish this, they must not only be knowledgeable about vaccine, but must be aware of the latest recommendations and healthcare policies that can impact vaccine usage.

Clinicians in a variety of healthcare settings must take an active role in improving vaccination rates by educating their patients about the risks and consequences of herpes zoster infection. Additionally, clinicians must take proactive measures within their clinical practice to ensure vaccines are given when indicated. Clinicians must also recognize the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to promote vaccination and minimize missed opportunities to vaccinate at institutions and in the community.

Activity Overview
This 3-episode Expert Interview Digest aims to increase the awareness of the clinical consequences of herpes zoster infection and provides clear and concise answers to frequently asked questions regarding administration of the vaccine. Each interview provides clinical viewpoints from different medical disciplines (i.e., internal medicine, primary care, and pharmacy) and focuses on topics that are current and relevant to everyday clinical practice in a variety of settings.

Target Audience
Prevention of herpes zoster infection requires a collaborative approach involving various medical disciplines who provide health care to older adults, including internists, primary care providers, and pharmacists. This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, pharmacists, and allied healthcare professionals providing adult vaccination in the community and institutional settings.


Learning Objectives
At the conclusion of the educational activity, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify adult patients who would benefit from herpes zoster vaccination based on current FDA and ACIP immunization guidelines (Episode 1, 2, 3)
  • Discuss the impact of current healthcare policies on herpes zoster vaccination (Episode 2)
  • Identify specific considerations when administering the herpes zoster vaccine in various adult populations (Episode 1, 2, 3)

Relevant Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine Storage & Handling Toolkit. May 2014. Available Here

ACIP. Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule, United States - 2014. Available Here

Rubin LG, Levin MJ, Ljungman P, et al. 2013 IDSA Clinical Practice Guidelines for Vaccination of the Immunocompromised Host. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;58:309-318. Available Here

American College of Physicians (ACP) Immunization Portal. Available Here


Thomas M. File, Jr

Chair, Infectious Disease Division
Summa Health System
Akron, OH
Professor, Internal Medicine
Master Teacher; Chair, Infectious Disease Section
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Rootstown, OH

Michael D. Hogue, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP
Chair, Department of Pharmacy Practice
McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Samford University
Birmingham, AL

Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., MD, FACP, FAAP
Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Program Director, Med-Peds Residency
UAMS College of Medicine
Little Rock, AR



This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Center for Independent Healthcare Education (Center) and Vemco MedEd. Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Center for Independent Healthcare Education designates this Enduring material for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Physician Assistants
AAPA accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™for the PRA from organizations accredited by ACCME.

Nurse Practitioners
Nurse Practitioners will receive certificate of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ as this is an ACCME accredited program and its accreditation is recognized by Nurse Practitioner boards.

Center for Independent Healthcare Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider for continuing pharmacy education.  Center has assigned 1.5 contact hours (0.15 CEUs) of continuing pharmacy education credits for participating in this activity.
ACPE UAN:  0473-0000-14-006-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based

For questions regarding the accreditation of this activity, please contact us at

Method of Participation
After clicking on Episode at the bottom of this page, you can participate:

  • directly online
  • through your SmartPhones and/or iPad

Instructions for Credit

  • Review the entire CME/CPE information including target audience, learning objectives, and disclosures.
  • Review the activity
  • Complete the online Post Test, Evaluation, and Credit Application Form.
    Please note that to receive credit you must achieve a score of at least 70%.    
  • Physicians: Certificate of Credit will be emailed within 4 weeks of successful completion of the activity.
  • Pharmacists: The information that you participated will be uploaded to CPE Monitor and you will be able to access your credits from the profile you set up with NABP. For more information, please visit

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest Policy
In accordance with policies set forth by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), Center for Independent Healthcare Education requires all faculty members and planning committee to disclose any relevant financial relationships with commercial interests during the past 12 months. A commercial interest is any entity producing, marketing, reselling or distributing health care goods or services consumed by or used on patients. Relationships with commercial interests and conflicts of interest resulting from those relationships must be revealed to the audience and resolved prior to the activity.

Relevant relationships include roles such as speaker, author, consultant, independent contractor (including research), employee, investor, advisory committee member, board member, review panelist, and investigator. If a potential speaker or author indicates a possible conflict of interest, the conflict will be resolved by choosing another speaker or author for that topical area, or the slides, handouts, and/or monograph will be reviewed and approved by a qualified commercially-disinterested peer.


Planning Committee Members
Thomas M. File, Jr., MD
Michael D. Hogue, PharmD
Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., MD
Paul DeLisle
Marco P. Cicero, PhD
Maja Drenovac, PharmD, CCMEP

Disclosure of Financial Interest Summary
Thomas M. File, Jr., MD (Faculty/Planner) has relevant financial relationships with commercial interests as follows:
• Advisory Board: Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline,
  Merck & Co., Pfizer, Tetraphase
• Grant Recipient/Research Support: Pfizer,Cempra
  Dr. File does not intend to discuss off-label uses of any products.

Michael D. Hogue (Faculty/Planner) has relevant financial relationships with commercial interests as follows:
• Advisory Board: Pfizer
• Grant Recipient/Research Support: Merck & Co.
• Speakers Bureau: Pfizer
Dr. Hogue does not intend to discuss off-label uses of any products.

Robert H. Hopkins, Jr., MD (Faculty/Planner) has no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests. Dr. Hopkins does not intend to discuss off-label uses of any products.

No other speakers, authors, planners or content reviewers have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Content review confirmed that the content was developed in a fair, balanced manner, free from commercial bias. Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone commercial bias in any presentation, but it is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.

The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not reflect the views of Center for Independent Healthcare Education (Center) and Vemco MedEd. This educational activity may discuss off-label and/or investigational uses and dosages for therapeutic products/procedures that have not been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Center and Vemco MedEd do not recommend the use of any product/procedure outside of the labeled indications. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product/procedure discussed. Clinicians should verify all information and data before treating patients or employing any therapies described in this continuing education activity. Please refer to the prescribing information for each product/procedure for approved indication, contraindications, and warnings.

There is no fee to participate in this activity.

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Copyright Statement
Copyright©2014 Vemco MedEd, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Permission for accreditation use granted to Center for Independent Healthcare Education.

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Supported by an educational grant from Merck & Co.