A Discussion About the Safety of Recombinant Zoster Vaccine in Rheumatology Patients

In this podcast, why patients with rheumatic diseases are found to be at higher risk of herpes zoster is discussed. Additionally, evidence of the safety of Recombinant Zoster Vaccine in subjects with rheumatologic diseases is explored.

Target Audience

Healthcare providers of all specialties may benefit from the information presented.

Learning Objectives

Herpes zoster is a public health concern for the public, especially in subjects who are immunocompromised. The CDC–recommended recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) is an effective way to reduce the incidence of herpes zoster, but because of the increased immunogenicity of the vaccine adjuvant, there is a concern about flares of underlying autoimmune diseases in rheumatology patients. Join Drs. Syed Raza Saurav Acharya, and Gabrielle Howard, as they discuss the safety of RZV in this patient population, a topic they, and their coauthor Debendra Pattanaik, addressed in their February 2022 Southern Medical Journal article. In this podcast, they talk about why patients with rheumatic diseases are found to be at higher risk of herpes zoster and what led them to conduct their study. Additionally, they provide evidence of the safety of  RZV in subjects with rheumatologic diseases. At the conclusion of this activity, the learner should be able to:

  • Identify the complications of herpes zoster, the most common being postherpetic neuralgia;
  • Recognize that patients with rheumatic diseases are found to be at higher risk of herpes zoster;
  • Consider that recombinant zoster vaccine appears to be safe in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

Additional Information

Southern Medical Association
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Southern Medical Association (SMA) requires instructors, planners, managers, and all other individuals who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose conflicts of interest (COI) with ineligible entities within the last 24 months of the development of this activity. All identified COIs are thoroughly vetted and mitigated prior to the release of the activity. SMA is committed to providing its learners with high quality activities and related materials that promote improvements or quality in healthcare and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest.

The following individuals have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Special Guests

 Syed Raza, MD
Dr. Syed Raza currently serves as associate professor of internal medicine in the division of connective tissue diseases at University of Tennessee, Memphis. Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, he moved to the United States in 2005 for his internal medicine residency and then went on to complete his fellowship in rheumatology at UT Memphis. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Raza was in private practice in Michigan and eventually joined the UT faculty in 2015 where he remains. He loves teaching residents and students, and in his free time he enjoys reading and long distance running.

Saurav Acharya, MD
Dr. Saurav Acharya attended medical school in Manipal Medical College Nepal and did his residency at Jersey City Medical Center. He trained as a rheumatologist at the University of Tennessee, Memphis and currently works at University Health Truman Medical Center in Kansas City. 

Gabrielle Howard, MD
Dr. Gabrielle Howard was born and raised in Memphis, TN, and she chose to stay in her hometown for medical school, residency, and fellowship. She is currently a first-year fellow in rheumatology at UTHSC and lives downtown with her husband Jeremy and their golden retriever mix Bucky. For fun, Dr. Howard enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling. She considers rheumatology the best field because it is never straightforward and always challenging in a positive way.

Southern Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Southern Medical Association designates this Internet Activity Enduring Material for a maximum of .25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAPA: AAPA accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by ACCME or a recognized state medical society. 

AANPCP: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

Healthcare Professionals
For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.  All healthcare professionals who are not MDs or DOs will receive a certificate of participation.

Available Credit

  • 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
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This activity is designed to be completed within the time designated; learners should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period noted, following these steps:

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