An experimental vaccine to prevent shingles, a painful skin rash, is showing promise. Also called herpes zoster, shingles is caused by the resurfacing of the chickenpox virus. The vaccine cut the risk of acquiring shingles by 50% in a study of older people, and the cases that did develop were milder. It also reduced the serious complication of nerve pain.
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Merck & Co., the vaccine’s manufacturer, applied in April for marketing approval from the FDA.