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Introduction: In the USA, nearly one in three people will experience herpes zoster (HZ) in their lifetime. Underserved communities may be at even higher risk due to several factors, including access to healthcare, education, and co-morbid conditions. The purpose of this study was to investigate current knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices (KABP) relative to HZ and HZ vaccines in a large urban city.

Methods: A cross-sectional KABP survey was conducted via in-person interview among 381 participants aged ≥ 50 years in Detroit, MI, USA, from June to August 2018. Survey results were stratified into two groups [< 60 and ≥ 60 years of age (YO)] for comparison.

Results: Of the 381 participants, 373 reported their age (110 < 60 YO and 263 ≥ 60 YO). Overall, the majority of participants reported having heard of HZ and HZ vaccines. In addition, receiving a recommendation from a healthcare provider (37.5%) followed by gaining a better understanding of HZ vaccine (36.7%) and of HZ (29.9%) were leading factors that influenced participants’ willingness to receive the vaccine. Of note, 65.5% of participants < 60 YO reported the belief that HZ is preventable versus only 53.2% in those ≥ 60 YO (p = 0.001).

Conclusion: Our findings underscore the need to educate patients in underserved communities about HZ as well as new HZ vaccine recommendations to improve vaccination rates and reduce the incidence of HZ and its associated sequelae.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Public Health Education and Promotion | Virus Diseases


© The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( by-nc/4.0/), which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available in the Mendeley repository [].