Dr. Len Friedland: December 25, 2019



Dr. Len Friedland

Vice President and Director, Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America, GSK


Fitness, nutrition, and mindfulness are common ways people maintain healthy lifestyles as they get older, but one thing often left off to-do lists is adult vaccinations. One in three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime,[i]  but there are vaccines available to help prevent shingles, a painful rash that develops on one side of the face or body.[ii] Even if you’re in good health, you may still be at risk if you’ve had chickenpox.


That risk of shingles only increases as you get older. In fact, 99 percent of people over the age of 50 are infected with the virus that causes shingles.[iii] Even once a shingles rash clears up, a person can experience complications such as postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) or pain lasting from at least three months up to several years.1


SHINGRIX (Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted) is a vaccine indicated for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) in patients 50 years and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that healthy adults 50 years and older get two doses of SHINGRIX, 2 to 6 months apart, to help prevent shingles and related complications, such as post-herpetic neuralgia. The most common side effects of SHINGRIX are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever and upset stomach.


SHINGRIX has been met with an unprecedented level of demand from patients and healthcare professionals. GSK has responded to this demand by significantly increasing supply and accelerating shipments of SHINGRIX this year.


Vaccination is the only way to help reduce the risk of developing shingles and the potential long-term pain from PHN.[iv]


As we age, the cells in our immune system lose the ability to maintain a strong and effective response to shingles reactivation,3 such that after the age of 50 a person’s risk for shingles increases, which is why it is so important to ensure your 50 years and older viewers/listeners understand the importance of talking to their doctor or pharmacist about shingles vaccination.1,2  

For more information about shingles and SHINGRIX, please visit: SHINGRIX.com.


Interview opportunities are courtesy of GSK


Dr. Len Friedland is Vice President and Director, Scientific Affairs and Public Health, Vaccines, North America at GSK. He is also a licensed pediatrician in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Friedland has held many positions in clinical research and development with GSK since 2003, specializing in infectious disease vaccination. Prior to his work at GSK, Dr. Friedland was Division Chief, Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Friedland studied medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and conducted his residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, also in Philadelphia. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Alternate Industry Representative to the FDA Vaccines and Related Biologics Product Advisory Committee, and the Industry Representative Member on the Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee. He has published over 45 peer reviewed articles as well as book chapters on healthcare and vaccination topics during his career.



SHINGRIX is an FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster) in adults 50 years and older.

SHINGRIX is not used to prevent chickenpox.

Important Safety Information 

  • You should not receive SHINGRIX if you are allergic to any of its ingredients or had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of SHINGRIX
  • The most common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, muscle pain, tiredness, headache, shivering, fever, and upset stomach
  • SHINGRIX was not studied in pregnant or nursing women. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding
  • Vaccination with SHINGRIX may not protect all individuals
  • Ask your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of SHINGRIX. Only a healthcare provider can decide if SHINGRIX is right for you

Produced for: GSK


[i] Harpaz R, Ortega-Sanchez IR, Seward JF; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevention of herpes zoster: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Recomm Rep. 2008 Jun;57(RR-5):1-30

[ii] Lal H et al. Efficacy of an adjuvanted herpes zoster subunit vaccine in older adults. N Engl J Med. 2015 May;372(22):2087-96.

[iii] Johnson RW et al. Herpes zoster epidemiology, management, and disease and economic burden in Europe: a multidisciplinary perspective. Therapeutic Advances in Vaccines. 2015;3(4):109-120. CDC. Shingles (Herpes Zoster). Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/shingles/multimedia/shringrix-50-older.html. Accessed October 2019.

[iv] US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Shingles Vaccination. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/shingles/public/shingrix/index.html. Accessed October 2019.

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