A brand new paper offers good evidence that the shingles vaccine can prevent dementia, which strongly means that some types of dementia are brought on by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the virus that on preliminary an infection causes chickenpox. The information come from Wales the place the herpes zoster vaccine (Zostavax) first turned obtainable on September 1 2013 and was rolled out by age. At the moment, nevertheless, it was determined that the vaccine would solely be obtainable to individuals born on or after September 2 1933. In different phrases, the vaccine was not made obtainable to 80 yr olds but it surely was made obtainable to 79 yr and 364-day olds. (I collect the reasoning was that the advantages of the vaccine decline with age and an arbitrary lower level was chosen.)
The cutoff date for vaccine eligibility implies that individuals born inside every week of each other have very completely different vaccine uptakes. Certainly, the authors present that solely 0.01% of sufferers who had been only one week too outdated to be eligible had been vaccinated in comparison with 47.2% amongst those that had been only one week youthful. The 2 teams of in any other case related people who had been born round September 2 1933 are then tracked for as much as seven years, 2013-2020. The people who had been simply “younger” sufficient to be vaccinated are much less more likely to get shingles in comparison with the people who had been barely too outdated to be vaccinated (as one would anticipate if the vaccine is doing it’s job). However, the authors additionally present that the people who had been simply younger sufficient to be vaccinated are much less more likely to get dementia in comparison with the people who had been barely too outdated to be vaccinated, particularly amongst ladies. A lot of robustness checks finds no different sharp discontinuities in remedies or outcomes across the Sept 2, 1933 lower level.
The next graph summarizes. The highest left panel reveals that the cutoff led to huge variations in vaccine uptake, the highest proper panel reveals that there was a smaller however sharp decline in dementia within the vaccinated group. The underside panel reveals that was no discontinuity in quite a lot of different elements.
Learn the whole thing.
I’ve had my shingles vaccine. As I’ve mentioned earlier than, vaccination is the gift of a superpower.